The Fisheries Division tackles illegal fishing net situation

The Fisheries Division within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, has responded to reports made by some fishermen about an unattended fishing net in the northern area of Dredge Bay that appears to have been there for a few weeks.

Senior Fisheries Officer, Steve Archibald stated that according to the regulations if the net is owned by someone, it should not be in the water beyond a few hours.

He said that they have been on the water from approximately eleven o’clock (11:00 am) (today), ensuring that there was no more sections of the net,  as what they had collected was approximately one thousand feet long.

 Archibald noted that they have even extended their search as far as the eastern side of Fort James.

 At the moment, the Fisheries Division is unable to identify who owns the net as they have been reports about stolen fishing nets in recent times.

The law states that fishing nets should not be left in the water for more than four (4) hours as it poses a danger to marine life.

As they were taking the net out of the water there were numerous amounts of dead fish discovered in the net.

 Also, when they were off loading the net which was brought to shore by a small boat, parts of crabs were seen tangled in the net and even a few were still alive.

Persons seeking further details relating to use of fishing net can visit the Fisheries Divisions’ Website where specification on the different types of nets which are allowed and not allowed, including the lengths and types which are considered legal to use in the country, is clearly outlined.

Mr. Archibald stressed that although Fisheries Officers remains vigilant in identifying irregularities, they still welcome reports from members of the public so that prompt action can be taken.

“It is important that people report when they see something like this because that is how we can take action,” stated Mr. Archibald.

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