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Fishermen 'Reaping Benefits' Of Protection From New Rbdf Vessels

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE prudence of the government's decision to acquire nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBPF) vessels at a cost of $232 million can be seen in the results that are being reaped, Prime Minister Perry Christie said on Friday.

He spoke during a commissioning ceremony for the latest addition to the fleet, HMBS Kamalamee.

"As God would have it, the decision to expand our capacity to protect the waters of the Bahamas has enabled the Defence Force to now be seen to be doing great works in furtherance of protecting our country," he said.

"The evidence of that can be gleaned from fishermen who are now indicating openly that this is the best season they've had in 30 years and that, just recently, a colleague of mine told me that his father, who is a Spanish Wells fishermen, went out and in three hours secured 300lbs of crawfish and they're saying that was normally a full day and a half worth of work.

"The evidence is before us to now be able to see the wisdom and benefit of expanding the capacity of the Defence Force - and not just the capacity to do so. But clearly there is an apprehension by way of a deterrence taking place by people who have made a living of poaching in our waters."

Mr Christie spoke of a recent incident in which Defence Force officers apprehended two Dominican boats full of passengers who were poaching in the area of the Great Bahama Bank.

The vessel involved was the HMBS Madeira, whose hull was damaged when a Dominican vessel with poachers attempting to escape rammed her.

Efforts are underway to renovate the HMBS Madeira. When completed, all nine ships the government acquired by the government will be in the possession of the Defence Force, completing a key stage of the Sandy Bottom Project, which is an effort to modernise the Defence Force's capacity and capabilities.

"Madeira was successful in apprehending two Dominican vessels last year November," Mr Christie recounted. "In a failed attempt to escape, one of the poaching vessels rammed the Madeira, damaging her hull. Arrangements for her repairs are now in their final stage.

"Traditionally we have had this great challenge to our country of poaching and we have attempted through diplomacy to minimise and even prevent the level of poaching from government to government interactions - the government of the Bahamas and the government of the Dominican Republic."

"The poachers were arrested, the official resources were confiscated. They are still in custody at the Department of Corrections where they are awaiting the completion of their cases and I'm led to understand that the court resumes as early as Monday next."

Mr Christie's praise for the Defence Force's efforts to clamp down on poaching echoes that of Acting Commodore Captain Tellis Bethel, who told The Tribune last year the force's customers think the law enforcement institution is doing a better job.

"The Bahamian clientele, the local fishermen, they have been reporting huge catches on the Bahama Bank such as they have never seen over the last ten, some say 20 years," he said. "There is some evidence that as a result of the Defence Force conducting its patrols with the recent acquisition of its patrol crafts, we are beginning to roll back the Dominican poachers.

"Years ago they were able to fish at will but now, because of the presence of the Defence Force, they really have to exercise caution when they do what they do. We are in a position where we are able to respond quickly, whether during a regular patrol or responding to a report by fishermen.

“Our success owes to greater resources. The acquisition programme under the government’s approved Sandy Bottom Project entails acquisition of nine patrol crafts. All nine have been constructed and delivered. The latest capture involved the most recent delivery of patrol craft, the Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship Madeira.”

Comments

Alex_Charles 2 years, 11 months ago

i remember clearly when Ingraham laid all of this out... funny how we forget lol

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birdiestrachan 2 years, 11 months ago

How many Defense Force boats did the FNM papa buy?

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

...... PM Christie Couldn't Tell The Truth If He Were Submerged In The Blood Of Jesus ......

Prime Minister Hubert Alexander Ingraham crafted the upgrades of the defense force in 2011.

Not this lying sack of shit Perry Gladstone Christie, trying to boldly deceive the Bahamian people yet AGAIN! This dufus has no morals or shame whatsoever.

Click below link for the REAL STORY.

Click > http://www.tribune242.com/news/2012/a..." rel="nofollow">http://www.tribune242.com/news/2012/a...

Fact checking this jackass is pointless, as one could conclude without a doubt everything out of Christie's mouth is either an outright lie, 99% deceptive or pure steaming horseshit for dummies.

PLP All The Way - To Nowhere

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B_I_D___ 2 years, 11 months ago

Birdie gone stone cold silent...

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cx 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't see the issue. Of course the PM won't praise the former pm for starting process. If it was flipped i'm sure the previous PM would be saying something similar.

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kdlrrl 2 years, 11 months ago

These too will go the way of the rest of the boats.  These boats will be inoperable within a few years just like all the previous craft the Bahamas have had. No one knows how to keep up with maintenance, and they simply don't care - not their money....

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

Perry is trying to pull a Donald Trump in this election ......... Bahamians, please do not allow that to happen!!!!!!!!!

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 11 months ago

The real truth is neither PM is the genius in this situation. If there is any praise it should go to The persons that put together the strategy and that would be the former Commodore and his executive team. Does anyone really believe Perry Christie or Hubert Ingraham, sat in their office and figured out which boats where needed, how they should be outfitted, how many where needed and who was the best supplier? Seriously? All they did was sign the cheque. Thanks for signing the cheque. Good job Commodore Bowe and team.

I can't believe the PM spoke to a group of Defence force officers and took all the credit for the planning.

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asiseeit 2 years, 11 months ago

It would be nice if the RBDF actually took care of the boats. We spend 200 million for them to run into the land? You can't make this crap up!

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SP 2 years, 11 months ago

@ CX .................. PLP Zombies Can't See Anything Except PLP Colors ........................

No matter how you twist it, two wrongs still don't make a right!

People are not as ignorant as you so called "elites" insist on believing. Everyone would have more respect for Christie if he could stop being disingenuous whenever he opens his pie hole!

A 7th grader understands the RBF upgrades initiated by HAI in 2011 was a continuum, as governments are continuous, however, Christie's statements were clearly disguised to take credit for something he initially had nothing to do with.

Christie needs to stop shuffling and face the people with his failure to deliver or even mention again his 2012 "we believe in Bahamians" and "Bahamians first" propaganda mantra if he wants people to take him seriously.

Nobody forgot except Christie!

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Abaconian 2 years, 11 months ago

Are people really falling for this BS? The RBDF is a joke and I've experienced it first hand at sea. The only fisheries that improved last year was crawfish. Nothing else. There is still a drastic decline in reef fish and conch throughout the Bahamas.

The crawfish season was good for reasons entirely separate from poaching. We don't have Dominican poachers up in the Little Bahama bank and it was still one of the best seasons in a long time up there. Explain that? The truth is that crawfish numbers fluctuate in natural cycles and this year was just a good year.... but Perry is trying to credit for it lol

What about all of the illegal foreign fishing that continues unabated in Abaco/Bimini/West End etc from Americans coming over and spearfishing? They haven't done anything to stop it and probably never will.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 11 months ago

Perry is so dumb ........... his RBDF Commodore has retired twice in five years and he doesn't know!!!!

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