Illegal poachers held in Jamaican waters…again

first_imgFor the second time in just over a week, the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard has collared illegal poachers in Jamaican waters.Last Wednesday April 5, a team of JDF Coast Guard soldiers on board one of the newly acquired Offshore Patrol Vessels, HMJS Cornwall, were conducting routine patrols in a vicinity South of the Pedro Cays. The team spotted a suspicious vessel in the area and signaled them to halt, before carrying out a boarding and search. The vessel was later found with 59 Dominican Republic nationals on board and more than 7,675 pounds of fish in storage.All 59 men were detained and the vessel seized and towed to the JDF Coast Guard Base at Cagway in Port Royal.Within hours of intercepting that first vessel, the JDF Coast Guard team was alerted to a second fishing vessel in the vicinity experiencing mechanical difficulties.Upon boarding it to carry out repairs and an inspection, 23 Jamaicans and more than 5,480 pounds of fish were discovered. None of the men has a license to fish. They were also detained their boat seized.This week’s operations brings to 114, the number of illegal fishermen caught in Jamaican waters in just over a week.On Sunday, March 26, 32 fishermen from the Dominican Republic were caught by the same HMJS Cornwall crew, about 120 miles south of Jamaica and close to the Pedro Cays. The estimated value of all three seizures is approximately $16.5m, at a weight of over 33,000 pounds.According to Major Basil Jarrett, Civil Military Cooperation Officer for the JDF, these arrests are nothing new.“The JDF Coast Guard is the country’s only Maritime Law Enforcement agency in these offshore waters and so it is our duty to routinely patrol the extensive range of our maritime domain. These patrols have the capability to detect and the authority to arrest foreign nationals in our waters and so we have standard operating procedures for handling these cases. This typically involves us working closely with the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs a well as the maritime police and the Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA).”last_img

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