Our Readers' Opinions
June 10, 2016
Let us fish in the Atlantic Ocean

Editor: During the press conference hosted by the Prime Minister on June 7, 2016, Minister Camillo Gonsalves, in commenting on the need for us to increase our vigilance regarding the management of our marine resources, made mention, or so I thought, of the need for our fishermen to extend their activities beyond the reefs.

That is indeed pertinent counsel at this time and those of us who had only recently learned that our nationals who have the capabilities and desire to exploit our share of the resources in the bountiful Atlantic Ocean,{{more}} but are being denied that privilege, are calling, not only on Minister Camillo to use his influence to correct this anomaly, we are demanding of our Prime Minister Gonsalves to act speedily to reverse this crippling injustice to our fishermen.

The situation, as I understand it, is that the way the state of St Vincent and the Grenadines is recognized by international law, we have the right to a certain quota of high value fish in the Atlantic Ocean. But for many years we have surrendered our quota to the Taiwanese and have robbed our own citizens of the opportunity to earn food income for their families.

We need urgently to have a national discussion on the mismanagement of our resources in the Atlantic. It is a contribution to the pathetic decay of our moral authority, which pushes focus on the men and women whose training and societal distinction made them players and fashioners and systems to ensure that our society prospers. It should be seen to be the duty of all of us, to work towards the ensuring that the succeeding generations have a reasonable chance to prosper.

Retrieving our quota of licences to fish in the Atlantic Ocean and empowering our own citizens to exploit those rewarding opportunities will undoubtedly be a dependable basis on which the pulling of ourselves out of the economic quagmire can begin in earnest. When that happens, we will not need to put our friends through the trouble of having to come to us in SVG, “almost every-Monday-morning”, to be photographed with our prominent officials, smilingly receiving bits of charity.

Vincentians could do better than that!

Le Roy Providence