$100 Million A Year Cost Of Poaching

By Natario McKenzie

Tribune Business Reporter


Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance (BCFA) president Adrian LaRoda estimated yesterday that some $100m worth of fisheries product was being lost to poaching annually, telling Tribune Business that the issue remains the biggest challenge facing the sector.

Mr LaRoda told Tribune Business : "We still lose about $20m worth of spiny lobster each year to poaching. When we look at the other marine products, all told it about $100m. People seem to forget the amount of grouper and deep water scale fish that we lose to poaching every year."

Mr LaRoda said that while the outlook for this crawfish season likely would not be made clear until month's end, Bahamian fishermen were "optimistic" and anticipating a good season. "We are optimistic and we are looking forward to a good season. Last year was pretty good an we are hoping for the same this year," said Mr LaRoda.

"Poaching is always and continues to be the biggest concern for us. The acquisition of new boats for the Defense Force's fleet has helped tremendously. They have the ability to do more patrols but we would like to see them have even more assets. I believe that they are still under-equipped to do the kind of patrols we feel is adequate for our waters," said Mr LaRoda, adding, "I think they need at least 20 vessels to adequately patrol our waters."

"They would need at any one point at least five vessels in the southern Bahamas. It is a vast area. They are doing their best and because of their presence poaching has decreased. It is not as bad as it was three years ago and poachers are taking different tactics now. We may not be able to eliminate it but we need to reduce it drastically."


Porcupine 10 months, 2 weeks ago

How many Defense Force vessels are on the water at the present time? Couldn't we do the job with smaller, more cost effective vessels, calling in reinforcements when needed? It seems to me that the 300+ million in vessels was a bit of overkill. Plus, they ended up on the rocks so often that perhaps they were a bit over our pay grade. Do the math. How much is each Bahamian paying to protect (20 million dollars) in crawfish? I am all for protecting our resources and the livelihoods of fishermen. Yet, we still must ask can we do it more effectively for less cost?


OldFort2012 10 months, 2 weeks ago

A pilotless drone could cover 100 times the sea surface area, cost 100 times less, save million in fuel and direct patrol boats to spotted poachers 100 times more effectively. But I guess you can't ask for a bribe from a drone, so obviously a bad idea.


banker 10 months, 1 week ago

Plus it doesn't take 20 people to operate a drone.


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