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January 08, 2013





What do we do now!

larry smith

My Tough Call column runs in the Tribune every Wednesday.


Too bad. I'm an (USA) American living in FL. FL is already ruined, pertaining to fish and other marine life. Our entire planet's marine resources will be mostly compromised in less than 30 years. The planet's population coupled with the fact that it takes laws to get people to stop ruining their own resources means there is little hope.

K H.

The Defence Force is handicapped by incompetent chiefs who only received their posts due to friednships and lack of both human and operational resources. Their is one functioning boat on the force and there is no more than one plane working at any given time and the commanding officer of the flight devision at times uses it personally. We are crippled by our own complacency in not demanding better from our government and its workers, as the saying gose talk is cheap. Its time to flood the media and its time to allow the constitution to work for us and together remove those who refuse to do their jobs as officials. Otherwise we will regurgitate this same and many similar issues next year and the year after and the year after....

Chuck Pinder

It amazed me to read your article on the defence force and poaching. I found it to be the truth about what they are doing to our marine resources. I tried to tell the former government about it for five long years.

The fishermen that you spoke to told the truth on what is happening. One of them (Ross Albury) has been my friend and business partner in the fishing industry for the last 26 years and we have both witnessed the destruction. But on the government aspect of this problem I think you have been hoodwinked.

The report by Dr Sullivan Sealey was correct. It was given to the FNM government and was laughed at by Larry Cartwright, the then minister of fisheries. I wrote numerous letters to the Tribune about the poaching situation and wasn't taken seriously by the government because of politics and family ties to people who at that time were in the opposition, but who are now in the government (Ryan Pinder is my nephew).

Brent (hot mix) Symonnette was minister of immigration at that time and was the hand that signed so many Dominican work permits for these Bahamain fishing boats that have carried them out to destroy our country from within.
Why would he do such a thing when chapter 244 of the fisheries act clearly states that NO ONE OTHER THAN A BAHAMIAN IS TO BE WORKING ON A COMMERCIAL FISHING VEESEL IN OUR COUNTRY.

Well, it just so happens that a former deputy prime minister OF THE FNM owns a seafood company by the name of Geneva Brass, and many of these Dominicans just happen to be on his boats. I'm sure you remember the idiot that wrote in the Tribune that we should let Dominican divers work here? His name is Percy Roberts and he runs the plant for the former DPM.

But after numerous complaints from their own supporters just before the election, they tried to fix the problem that they created - by not renewing work permits when they expired, thinking that people would forget where the problem began. So far Fred Mitchell has had enough sense to do just that.

And now to one of the most worthless ministers that has ever entered the political arena - Tommy Turnquest. In December 2010 my partner and I ran 18 of 32 dinghies from two Dominican ships off our southern banks. We were shot at, we reported it, and this is what i got in reply - a message sent through Ryan Pinder - and I quote: "tell Chuck Pinder in Spanish Wells to stop sensationalizing stories about Dominicans fishing on the bahama bank".

Worthless, useless and - thank God - gone. And to sum it all up, ALL OF THIS HAPPENED UNDER FORMER PRIME MINISTER HUBERT ALEXANDER INGRAHAM'S WATCH. He new full well what was happening. In Spanish Wells he laughed at fishermen talking about Dominican poachers to the point when he had to be told by a fisherman that this was no laughing matter.

One week after the election, a big-time FNM made a statement that we wouldn't be hearing from the Dominican writer for a while. Well I wrote a letter again, but the ONE-SIDED TRIBUNE REFUSED TO PRINT IT !!!

In that letter i also wrote that the PLP. had alot of work to do and a lot of fixing to do in immigration, defence and fisheries, but i guess the Tribune didn't want the Bahamian people to know the truth.

The FNM will paint their picture and so will the PLP but I'll give you the truth. I am the one of the many that see these acts of piracy every trip. Millions of dollars lost to this country in revenue .

The FNM knew all along what was going on and let it happen because of their cronies in the seafood business. The PLP has a lot to fix - whether they will remains to be seen.

Diplomatic action with the Dominican Republic has already taken place plus in my understanding $4 million was approved for 19 new engines for our defence force vessels. By the way, what Tommy T wouldn't tell you is that in some of those engines the oil hadn't been changed for three years.

And ain't it a little too early to judge the 8-month PLP government?

larry smith

I don't think there is much difference between the two parties on some matters (and this is one of them), but I was disappointed that Ryan would not respond to my reasonable requests for an update on what the new administration was doing. Turnquest did respond.

I also wrote about Sullivan Sealey's report during the Ingraham administration.

I also don't think the Tribune would refuse to publish a letter just because it was critical of the FNM. They publish those all the time.

I agree with you that the main problem is collusion between Dominican and Bahamian interests (but it is difficult to be more specific without inciting legal actions).

In conversations I have had subsequent to publication of this story, I suggested a conference or commission of experts to review the whole issue in public. That might throw some light on the problems and perhaps suggest some new ways forward.

Keeping things under wraps allows those in authority to escape their responsibilities.

Ross Albury

The fact is the Dominican problem started under the old Pindling PLP.Nothing has been done by either party to stop them since, so the problem keeps getting worse.The PLP made big promises and should expect to get called on them

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