Is Our Government Fiddling While Our Fishers Are Being Attacked Relentlessly?
Date: September 13th, 2019
Yesterday we had another close call with death! Another one of our fishers, Christopher Granger from La Lune, Moruga was attacked and shot in the chest while being chased in broad 10am daylight by Venezuelan pirates on Tuesday just two miles off the Icacos coast! No Coast Guard, no radars, no care, no help. Earlier this year Minister Young stated that “the port at Cedros is completely functional. There are immigration officers
there, customs officers there, Coast Guard officers there”. Where were the Coast Guards at 10am when our fisherfolk were brutally attacked and shot in the back?
Furthermore, Minister Young stated earlier this year that he would build an army base in Moruga, but would an army base have been able to defend our fishers from attacks at sea? Two Moruga fishermen were kidnapped in January 2019, yet still, our borders are wide open!!
Why is it “Business as usual” with more US 80M dollar (TTD 560,000,000) offshore warships being ordered. while our people are abandoned, defenceless like sitting ducks and nothing is being done.
While we wait patiently, respectfully and with humility, we are living in a state of horror and terror. What is our Honourable Prime Minister as the Head of the National Security Council waiting on? The fisherfolk delegates of Claxton Bay, Carli Bay, Orange Valley and Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) in conjunction with Commanders of the Coast Guard and the
senior superintendents of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), have written to our Honourable Minister of National Security requesting a cabinet appointed multi stakeholder committee with a specific mandate and Terms of Reference and with a tight timeframe to report back to Cabinet with easily realizable recommendations for “safety at
sea”. This is reasonable, inclusive, empowering, and constructive. Weeks have passed and not even an acknowledgement from our Mr Rowley or Minister Young. What are they waiting for?
Unless our Parliament passes specific legislation, until the Coast Guard, improves its strategic locations and response to emergency situations and until our Prime Minister as the head of the National Security Council empowers our stakeholders with an inclusive approach we will continue to suffer from insecure and threatening maritime waters, our fishermen will continue to be attacked in our sea of Pirates.