Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) offer our deepest condolences to the families of fishermen recently murdered in the Gulf of Paria. Where do we go from here?
Fishing is a major activity in which the economies of over 50,000 families depend, and which is critical in feeding the nation, and yet its security has been mismanaged for decades.
As it stands, there is little evident coordination between the Fisheries Division, the Police and the Coast Guard, and the murderers of our dear sons and brothers are left to plan future crimes.
Coastal insecurities are not a new threat, and for decades there has been little improvement, even though billions of scarce resources are being spent on expensive coastal surveillance and enforcement equipment.
Regretfully, there has never been any public consultation or partnering with the primary stakeholders on simple cost-effective solutions.
In FFOS private consultations with fishermen, boat owners and captains, we have discussed many security threats, and many possible and practical solutions have been suggested, but until this point, there has been no system of stakeholder participation in offering empowering solutions to this serious state of siege under which we have been plunged.
FFOS, as a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Fisher-folk, (TUFF) hereby formally offers to partner with the Hon Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Resources and his Cabinet colleague, the Hon Minister of National Security, to cover the full cost of hosting a low-cost, no fringe stakeholder consultation at a public facility of the Ministers' choice.
Our officers can be contacted at 786-0245, or 620-2642 for coordination of time and place.
Friends Of The Sea