(ZIZ News) — Director of Marine Resources, Marc Williams, has outlined safety measures governing the practices of the island’s fisher folk.
Speaking with ZIZ News on Wednesday, Williams said “at the beginning of the year when we are registering vessels, each captain must come with their appropriate safety gear, which is their life jacket, the flares, the bailers, their alternate propulsion devices so that they will be able to fight off certain unforeseen circumstances.”
Williams said safety measures have always been in place and each fisher is aware of the measures. Nevertheless, he urged all fisher folk to honour them.
“What I want to encourage fishers to place their life jackets on their bodies at all times. It doesn’t matter if you’re in shore or far out or with Fish Aggregating Devices. Fishers should take all the necessary precautions to ensure that they are safe as well as their crew. The more incidents that occur like this, it puts a lot of pressure on our resources because we do not know where they go and we can only use a general vicinity. Knowing that the area helps but it is a hit or miss when it comes to searching for fishers who get lost,” he said.
When asked if the measures are enforced, Williams said, they are, however, in St. Kitts-Nevis, the National Coast Guard can be used for fisheries enforcement.
Although legislation does not require fishermen to report their fishing excursions, Williams advises that they do.