Date: October 14th, 2019
We are pleased to announce that the Honourable Minister of National Security Stuart Young has responded to our messages but has warned us that we are “on very dangerous ground” and that we “be very cautious about what “causes” we “take up and who” we “decide to declare a “fisherman””. The common statement being made is that the
fishermen are involved in smuggling and deserve what is happening.
Victim blaming is not the solution to national insecurity, especially from those who have a sworn oath to protect and serve without fear or favour.
Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) have appealed to our Government for over twenty (20) years that there are some members of our communities who are transporters/smugglers of a variety of lucrative contraband human and non-human cargo. Tourists, fishers and recreational boaters are at increased risk because our southern neighbours are without Law or any order.
Open borders are dangerous and undermine our Nation’s sovereign status. There is no Nation if our borders are wide open.
We continue to appeal to our Government and to our right Honourable Prime Minister to consider our stakeholder knowledge for simple ‘safety at sea’ security measures. We do not need more warships. There are simple, cost-effective and efficient systems which will protect our vulnerable and innocent members who are not involved in any illegal activity whatsoever.
We remind our leaders that the Government have a duty of care to all of us and we, as the longest standing fishing association, who have consistently represented the largest number of primary stakeholders, respectfully submit that we have a critical part to play in protecting our vulnerable Law-abiding fishers from the vagaries that now prevail.
There’s no disputing that a Nation that cannot protect its own borders is failing at its title to nationhood. Again, we appeal to our leaders to appoint a multi-stakeholder committee so as to avoid any further bloodshed such as the mass murder of ‘seven of the best’ which took place in
Orange Valley in July 2019.