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Some Fishermen ‘Shut It Down’ Following Irma

BAHAMIAN fishermen are hoping to “make up” for a rough 2017 with a better crawfish harvest before the season closes, the Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance’s (BCFA) president said yesterday. 

Adrian LaRoda told Tribune Business that some fishermen had decided to “shut it down”, having been unable to recover from the impact of Hurricane Irma. “The first half of the crawfish season has been rough. Some fishermen have not been able to recover, particularly the guys down south,” he added.

“Some guys have decided that it’s not worth their time to go back out any more this year.

“Some fishermen have decided to pack it in. That’s not necessarily good news for the sector because any time there isn’t a Bahamian vessel out to sea, that gives more leeway for poachers.” 

Mr LaRoda continued: “Some fishermen have lost more than others, but I think we are all looking towards a better 2018. Hopefully, the weather will be better. Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been the best since the hurricanes, which also hasn’t helped. Hopefully we will make up for this season in February and March, and harvest a few hundred thousand more pounds.” 

The Government issued an October exigency order on a number of items for people in the fishing industry impacted by Irma. The list of approved duty-free goods includes materials used for the construction of fishing traps and condos.

The order is valid for a sixth-month period (180 days), ending on March 26, 2018, and is open to an extension if specified by the Minister of Finance. Applications in respect of goods people claim to have lost have to be certified by the director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

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