[www.inewsguyana.com] – Trawler owners will be denied a fishing license unless they are in possession of a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), while in 2015, artisanal fishermen will have to be in possession of a Global Positioning System (GPS) in order to be granted a license.
This is according to Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.
This, Dr. Ramsammy explained will also help to solve a bigger problem. “There is the allegation that big boats come and meet the fishermen and trawlers out at sea to take away the fish so Guyana does not benefit.”
The installation of these devices will also help to solve the ongoing pirate attacks on sea that has claimed the lives of several fishermen. In addition, installation of VMS will also solve the problem of trawlers getting into the track of the artisanal fishermen and destroying their fish nets.
Further, the Ministry of Agriculture will work along with the Ministry of Home Affairs on an aggressive anti-piracy programme.
Minister Ramsammy is urging fishermen to get licensed, while noting that even though they requestincreased coast guard presence, they are not happy when coast guards are carrying out their duties including checking for their license to ensure they are fishing legally.
He stated that some fishermen are practicing illegal methods of fishing. Dr. Ramsammy further explained that coast guards will not only be present at sea to help prevent piracy, but will also check with fishermen for their license to ensure they are fishing legally.
“Only about one – third of artisanal (the most targeted group of fishermen for piracy) fishermen are licensed.” he said, while adding that of 87 trawlers operating at sea, more than half have the VMS system.
He urged that artisanal fishermen install GPS systems in their vessels.
Even though the GPS will be an additional cost to fishermen, he believes it is necessary to save lives and reduce piracy. [Extracted and modified from GINA]