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Bahamas: Fishing Industry-Time To Be Tough

FISHERMEN faced with repeated threats from Dominican poachers said they were “extremely disappointed” with the lukewarm stance taken by Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield in the government’s efforts to end the illegal practise in Bahamian waters.

As officials from the Dominican Republic have given assurances previously to cooperate with this country in discouraging poaching, Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance and the Spanish Wells Fishing Association yesterday said no reliance should be placed on their promises.

“They have shown no willingness to cooperate with us, it is time we do the same,” both organisations said in a strongly worded statement released in response to Mr Henfield’s latest comments on the poaching dilemma.

On Tuesday, the minister said Dominican officials are concerned about lengthy prison sentences given to fishermen found guilty of poaching in Bahamian waters.

He said this concern was raised in a recent meeting between The Bahamas government and a delegation from the Dominican Republic when they also made commitments to assist in discouraging the practice of illegal fishing in Bahamian waters.

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