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February 12, 2013

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Jerry Pinder

Mr. Smith please don`t stop reporting on the behalf of fishermen, you seem to be one of the few people in the media who truly understands the enormity of the problem. It seems even fishermen can`t seem to talk about poaching without trading political shots, we the fishermen need to unite and agree to disagree on less important maters. Last summer I encountered a Dominican boat 16 miles West Southwest of Georgetown, called for help by phone and vhf and got no help, I "confiscated" one boat just for evidence and watched the boat head West down over the banks into the sunset. A few summers ago I encountered another Dominican boat 20 miles South of Andros. Like Mr. Caroll said we have given the gps coordinates to the RBDF for the grouper schools and its no secret the Grouper and the Dominicans are there the week before the full moon in December, January and February but still no arrests. It is also true that the without a doubt if you report Dominicans poaching and you remain in the area your boat will be searched and your crew held often times at gunpoint. Thanks again for reporting on this serious and potential industry killing problem.

Eddie Dieufaite

Interesting article. As a pilot I always wonder why the the Government spend so much on large patrol vessel when a small plane could cover more than ten times the distance of a boat. My comprehensive plan for patrolling The Bahamas would involve about 10 single engine Cessna combine was 20 go fast boats. One plane and two go fast boats would be base strategically along the archipelago of islands with their respective contingent of marines. Two contingents in Inagua, one in Crooked islands,one in Exuma, one in Ragged island and so on. I am of the opinion that for the Defense to be effective there should not be a point in the Bahamas that they shouldn't be able to reach within an hour. Once a suspicious vessel(drugs,illegal immigrants,poachers) is located by patrolling Cessnas or fisherman the nearest contingent of marines would then be dispatched to intercept. The patrolling Cessna could provide exact location until the intercept is made. A single engine Cessna outfitted with the necessary patrol equipment and gadgets would most likely cost about 1 million dollars each. Twenty go fast boat with the capacity to hold 6 to 10 marines along with the gear comfortably would probably cost about one hundred thousand dollars each. Grand total for effective patrolling 12 million dollars. Even if my numbers are off by 100 percent, it still beats the 200 million dollars quoted in the article. This plan would probably result in the Government decreasing the Defense Force, not increasing it.

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