The Ministry of Agriculture today said that it has been brought to the attention of its Fisheries Department that three boats fishing between Eversham and Bush Lot, East Berbice were reportedly hijacked yesterday and the attackers took engines, equipment and catch.
According to statements received from fishermen, the ministry said that crew members were left in their boats adrift and were rescued and taken to Copenaam, Suriname. Reports, according to the ministry, also indicated that the rescued fishermen made contact this morning with fishers here and indicated that they are safe and are returning.
The Fisheries Department said it is in contact with the Guyana Police Force and the Coast Guard and voiced its concern over the recent spate of hijackings especially at a period when several events are being hosted in recognition of Fisherfolks’ Day to acknowledge their hard work and contribution to the economy.
The latest spate of attacks also comes in the wake of the escape of convicted sea bandit Kevin `Long Hair’ Narine from the New Amsterdam prison. The feared Narine was recently convicted at the New Amsterdam Assizes and days later he and others broke out of the NA prison.
According to today’s statement, Minister of Agriculture, Robert M. Persaud in his Fisherfolks’ Day message highlighted the threat of piracy and other security concerns.
Additionally, Persaud recently summoned a special meeting of the Fisheries Advisory Committee to discuss issues regarding the safety of Fisherfolks at sea. That Committee consists of stakeholders from the various Fishing Cooperatives, the Coast Guard, Guyana Police Force, Maritime Administration, Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Chambers, University of Guyana, Private Trawlers Association and the Ministry of Agriculture.