Poacher Sentences ‘Cause Of Concern’


Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield.


Deputy Chief Reporter


OFFICIALS from the Dominican Republic are concerned about lengthy prison sentences given to fishermen found guilty of poaching in Bahamian waters, Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield revealed yesterday.

The concern was raised in a recent meeting between The Bahamas government and a delegation from the Dominican Republic when they also made commitments to assist in discouraging the practice of illegal fishing in Bahamian waters.

The officials further pledged, among other things, to instal indicators in fishing vessels coming out of that country to better monitor their movements.

This comes after the Royal Bahamas Defence Force - for the second time in a week - arrested a group of Dominican fishermen for illegally operating in Bahamians seas. Two Dominican small, go-fast type boats were apprehended at 11am on Monday just off North East Point, Inagua by the RBDF while on routine patrol. Onboard were seven Dominican fishermen along with several air compressors and containers of gasoline.

A week ago, on December 11, another seven Dominican fishermen were arrested by the RBDF off Inagua. They have since been charged before the courts on several counts resulting in sentences up to nine months and $413,000 in fines.

“I think discussions with the Dominican government have been going tremendously well,” Mr Henfield said yesterday outside the Churchill Building.

“About two to three weeks ago a team from the Dominican Republic came, led by a minister, Minister Espinoza, which is responsible for external relations to a certain extent and she brought with her members from the fisheries association from the Dominican Republic and made some commitment that the Dominican government would do more to help alleviate this problem of incursions into our waters to fish illegally.

“Some of these indications seem to suggest they will put indicators on Dominican vessels that leave. That these vessels will have to report to the Dominican government before they leave and that they would continue to communicate to their people that fishing in the Bahamas is illegal and you could end up in prison for a very long time.

“In that meeting there was also present members from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force – the Commander, Tellis Bethel, and several of his senior officers as well as people from agriculture and fisheries and other government agencies concerned with this matter. The next step for us now is for us to have our technical people sit in a room and hammer out memorandums of understanding as to how we will proceed forward when we address this issue. For them it is a concern that their fishermen are in Fox Hill for such an extended period of time.”

Mr Henfield said officials warned the delegation about Dominicans becoming more aggressive at sea when confronted by Bahamian authorities.

“We indicated to them that Dominican fishermen are becoming more and more aggressive toward Bahamian law enforcement and even Bahamian fishermen in the past.

“We also commended our Royal Bahamas Defence Force for the level of discretion they used in not using far more superior fire power on a Dominican fishing vessel fleeing into Cuban territory. I’m confident that our Defence Force working with Dominican law enforcement, with the fisheries association in the Dominican Republic doing what they promised to do with us (and) working with the Dominican government as well as the Cuban government we’re going to make real inroads in this matter of illegal poaching in Bahamian waters.”

Mr Henfield also told reporters there was no official agreement between the Dominican Republic and the former Christie administration, so there was a need to ensure one was signed and sealed now.

However, he said, he was confident the Dominican government was willing to cooperate with the Bahamian government.


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 2 months ago

Henfield needs to get his head screwed on straight. The Dominican Republic is adding millions and millions of dollars a year to its GDP off of its fisherman poaching our territorial waters and is not about to give that it. Any Spanish Wells fisherman will tell you that there are corrupt Dominican businessmen and senior government officials within the Dominican Republic who have very close and profitable business ties with certain influential Bahamians. And Henfield can easily verify who these treasonous Bahamians are but will not do so because of their support, financial and otherwise, of key officials within our government. LMAO


sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

Who is this playboy working for???? ......... If he is scared of the DR, give up the job.


tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 2 months ago

Hey, while we at it... why not let murderers tell the judges how long their prison sentences should be too! SMH!!!
We are striving for equality for Bahamians with foreigners right???


rawbahamian 1 year, 2 months ago

If they are so concerned about their illegal fishermen being giving lenghty jail terms here then simply force their fishermen to keep their a**es at home in their own waters. I don't see why the R.B.D.F. doesn't just open fire on them because they are no better than the Somalian pirates !!!


BahamasForBahamians 1 year, 2 months ago

We can sink them and there boats at sight if they're upset with jail.


sheeprunner12 1 year, 2 months ago

Agree .......... 1000% .......... Really give them something to talk about. Maybe we finally got their attention ....... Sorry set of frigging dirtbags, pirates, & thieves.


bogart 1 year, 2 months ago

ILLEGAL FISHERMEN BEEN RAPING....POACHING.....WIDDOUT CONSIDERATION.....FOR UNDER SIZED....FISH AN LOBSTER ......STRIP MINING OCEAC BEDS.......DESTROYING ECO.....SYSTEM WHERE ONE SPECIES....DEPENDS ON OTHER SPRCIES..which depemd on other.....etc.....FOR YEARS....AN YEARS......AN MINISTER.....CONVERSATIONS GOING TREMENDOUSLY WELL......WID THE POLITRICKANS....FROM ....THE OTHER COUNTRIES BOUT PLACING...DEVICE ON ...FISHERMEN BOATS.......WHAT UTTER CRAP....are they going to be "located" before they cross our border...or after they leaving our border with a load of illegally poached undersized fish .destroyed eco system....reefs .....,!!!!!......NEVER MIND....DIS THE SEASON WHERE SANTA.CLAUS COMES........FROM THE NORTH POLE ....TRAVELLING ON HE SLED....WITH TRACKING DEVICE ALSO......AN NORAD IS ABLE TO TRACK HIS LOCATION......AN ...DELIVER ...PRESENTS.......want to hear another one bout.....da Bears an da porridge.....golden goose....race wid turtle an hare....pinnochio....pigs and house of straw...or GUARRANTEED GOOD OLE FOX HILL PRISON LENGHTY PRISON SENTENCE ERRY DOMINICAN FAMILY OF PRISONER ADVERTISING....... PLUS FINES TO PAY FOR DAMAGES.....


bogart 1 year, 2 months ago



bobneville 1 year, 2 months ago

illegals did'nt think it was iillegal after seeing that bahamians were doing the same thing ,and not being punished for it.prudence say ..charity begins at home..in other words We have to lead by example.come on Bahamians let us make this the most sort after little country in yhe world AGAIN.OLDER PEOPLE FROM SIXTY AND OLDER.START TO TELL YOUR GRAND CHILDREN ABOUT THE DAYS WHEN WALKING HOME AFTER DROPING THE GAL HOME AFTER THE SHOW,THAT THE ONLYTHING YOU WERE AFRAID OFF WAS GHOST,NOT SOMEONE TRYING TO ROB YOU. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS,AND THEY CAN COME BACK AGAIN IF WE CLEAN UP OUR ACT. PLEASE REMEMBER TO HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.AND A PROUD NEW YEAR. LIVE LONG AND PROSPER ' BOBNEVIL'


Islandboy242242 1 year, 2 months ago

Same old same old. Thought I heard this GPS mumbo jumbo before. Take a look at this from 2014, same promise, nothing changed in 4 years.

We met with the president of the Dominican Republic and he assured us that we had their full support,” said Mr Gray. “A memorandum of understanding was prepared and is with them now with terms and conditions to be finalised. They are supposed to be vetting them. “In part and parcel, one of the conditions was that Dominican vessels are to be outfitted with GPS systems to ensure that the fishermen do not venture out of their own borders.”


bogart 1 year, 2 months ago

Excellent search.!!!.....Same story of the numerous visits to Haiti by politicans...delegations.... nothing accomplished...same ol....same ol....an jus about this time of year the Haishun sloops coming ...an landing South Beach to Adelaide area...usually too during Junkanoo Parade.....when errybody bundled up in winter clothes downtown..


SP 1 year, 2 months ago

WTH? What a crock of absolute steaming horse manure! Darren Henfield is an idiot if he really believes for a nanosecond that the Dominicans will give up a multi-billion dollar seafood for export and consumption poaching operation!

After decades of PLP & FNM stupidity, the Bahamas finally got the damn Dominican governments attention, and all it took was some relative common sense penalties! Enough useless "dialog" with these people, talking to them proved useless.

All they understand is fines and prison so let us keep doing it.

Now we need to turn up the pressure by increasing fines, prison terms, immediately sinking their vessels at sea, confiscating equipment we could use ourselves, so these thieves finally get the message to stay out of our waters.

No more "talks" with these people! We need to treat them like the Cubans treat them, and forcefully exercise or right of possession. Lock their ass's up, impose heavy fines, confiscate and sink their equipment, and give them extended vacations in the worst part of Fox Hill Prison imaginable.

After decades of playing the "nice neighbor" and getting what the duck got with no vaseline or KY jelly, it is time for action.


Baha10 1 year, 2 months ago

For the first time perhaps in the history of our Country we finally appear to be making some effort to address poaching and now there is a debate about level of punishment. These Poachers know full well what they are doing is illegal. Unfortunately, it may already be too late to save our marine resources, which have been plundered for years to the brink of collapse..

As for the Defence Force, what exactly is it’s purpose, if not to apprehend Dominican Poachers, Drug Smugglers and Illegal Haitians and Cubans?!? Surely not to simply moor expensive military craft at Coral Harbour for the occasional Family Island Tour?!?


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