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Defence Force Officers Aiding Poachers

Spokesperson for the Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance Adrian La-Roda says several Defence Force officers are helping Honduran and Dominican fisherman poach in Bahamian waters.

In fact, he said Defence Force and National Security Ministry officials have been investigating this matter for months.

“I’m not afraid to say that, because it’s true. We are very close to finding out who they are. We have some idea . . . the investigation has been going on for more than four months,” he said. “I don’t know why these persons don’t cease and desist because they must know they are being investigated. The term we use all the time is that they are very brazen.”

“We have met with the commodore of the Defence Force and other persons within the Defence Force, including the minister of national security [Tommy Turnquest] and they are actively [taking steps to correct] some of the things we’ve been complaining about. It’s a bit sensitive for us. Poaching is a serious issue for us. It is not as hard a fix as people think. All it requires is consistent and tough measures, that’s all, and the problem could be done away with in short order. I believe we will always have poachers, but not to the level that we’ve had in the past six years.”

Spanish Wells fishermen have long complained about Honduran and Dominican fishermen poaching in Bahamian waters.

Local fishermen particularly dislike the fact that those fishermen attempt to overfish Bahamian waters and do not observe closed seasons.

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