Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) is again calling for Government to take urgent measures to protect fisherfolk. This follows an incident which has left a fisherman fighting for his life after he was attacked by pirates in the seas off Icacos.
Peter Granger, 37, of La Lune, Moruga, was shot in the back at around 10 am last Wednesday as he tried to escape from Spanish-speaking pirates. Luckily, the shots fired by the pirates missed Granger’s brother, Christopher, who was able to steer the boat to Icacos beach.
Last month, a group of fishermen were robbed of their vessels and thrown overboard into the Gulf of Paria off Carli Bay. Seven of them went missing but only five bodies were recovered.
Commenting on the attack on Granger, FFOS president Gary Aboud said: “The Coast Guard not there. The radars that Mr Young had said are working are not there. The interceptors which were promised since last year by Mr Young are not there. There is no security at sea and our men are at like sitting ducks.”
He said they are yet to receive a response from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and National Security Minister Stuart Young to their proposal which was done in collaboration with the Carli Bay, Claxton Bay and Orange Valley communities, fishing associations and concerned relatives of the fisherfolk and endorsed by senior police officers and Coast Guard commanders.
It was sent to Young two weeks ago and to the prime minister a few days ago.
Aboud complained: “We have not even had an acknowledgement. Our men are being attacked, our seas are wide open, our borders are open. The Minister of National Security said he is building a regiment base in Moruga but how can a regiment base respond to crime at sea? It doesn’t make sense and all we are asking is that the Prime Minister have an embracing all-inclusive approach to his citizens.
“Because our members are from Claxton Bay, Carli Bay and Orange Valley doesn’t mean that they are not entitled to sit at the banquet table and to decide and have the opportunity to contribute to constructive decisions. All we are asking the prime minister to do is to act and to include us in his actions, but we feel that we are being left out and locked out. We cannot afford to lose another man.”
Granger is warded at the San Fernando General Hospital in serious condition.