[www.inewsguyana.com] – Piracy has been a sore issue for fishermen, especially in Region Six, and the Ministry of Public Security has begun looking at addressing the crime.
Among the proposals being considered to deal with this scourge is allowing fishermen to carry arms during their duty. Public Security Minister and Second-Vice President, Khemraj Ramjattan addressing Executives of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, in Region Six, spoke of this measure as one of several to address the issue of piracy on the Corentyne River.
He explained though the fishermen will be allowed to go out to sea with their firearms, when they return, the police will take charge of the weapons and ammunition. The procedure will be repeated when the fishermen go back to fish.
“I am keen on something like that because when you are out on the ocean there it’s like the olden times in America, like you (are) out on the west and you have only a six shooter revolver to defend yourself,” the minister said.
He further explained that the ministry has to have practical solutions because measures such as having the “Coast Guard vessels watching how you fish” would not be possible as it would be expensive.
“So too is having helicopters in various parts of Berbice to respond to call from fishing boats….just the elementary helicopter costs millions much less the sophisticated type,” the minister pointed out.
“What we would need are some practical solutions,” the minister said as he identified measures such as ensuring better response time by the police and coast guard units. In this instance the minister noted that the latter’s metal shark boats will be put to use. Efforts will also be made to ensure that boats are equipped with radio systems so that their positions could be tracked.
The minister noted that all these things require additional expenditure on both the part of government and the fishing community, but what is needed is to ensure “we get it right.” [Extracted and modified from GINA]