Loss of jobs in sugar, fear of pirates creating jitters in Upper Corentyne

Parmeshwar Jainarine President of Upper Corentyne Fishermen’s Cooperative Society

The Upper Corentyne fishing community is in the grip of a state of apprehension in the wake of the April 27 ‘pirate’ attack targeting four fishing boats off of Suriname. The carnage was frightening. Around a dozen persons are missing and feared dead, four bodies were recovered and  four survivors were rescued. 

In a closely knit community where several extended families make their living through the fishing industry the grief and the anger is sometimes shared among neighbours who are all part of the same family. They mourn together, some seething with rage, others overwhelmed by a sense of loss and the entire community demanding official protection.

There is nothing contrived about the sense of apprehension that prevails. A point has been reached where experienced boat captains are ‘giving it a rest,’ so to speak, a euphemism for – at least for the time being – not going fishing. It is not an easy decision to make.  They must make the excruciatingly difficult choice between giving in to the imperative of making a living and heeding the pleadings of wives and children to at least allow for some reasonable interregnum before returning to the deadly fishing waters. Some have already opted for less lucrative but safer options in farming and as security guards…insofar as such jobs are available…..