Drones to monitor Jamaican waters

Drone-1Kingston, Jamaica — Jamaica has moved closer to monitoring its territorial waters and fishing jurisdiction with the use of drones.

A news release from the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry issued this afternoon said the ministry will work with the Ministry of National Security to identify and deploy drones with longer endurance in order to increase the country’s reach and law enforcement within the country’s maritime jurisdiction.

This announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier on Thursday in a closing ceremony for the drone pilot project, held at the agriculture and fisheries ministry at Hope Gardens in St Andrew.

Minister Kellier explained that with the completion of the last test flight at Pedro Cays on April 23, the way was now clear for the deployment of the drones to better monitor Jamaica’s marine space and detect and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the island’s fishing territory.

The drone project, Kellier said, was launched in an effort to cauterise the long-standing problem of poachers in Jamaican waters.

“This illegal activity simply cannot be tolerated,” Kellier said, while urging local fisherfolk to be vigilant in protecting territorial waters and not to engage in any transactions with the foreign poachers.

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