Categorized | National News

BNT Supports Borrowing for RBDF

The government has been criticised for its decision to borrow $232 million for the purchasing of nine vessels and additional upgrades for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force (RBDF), but recently President of the Bahamas National Trust Neil McKinney
rushed to the government’s defense on its decision to increase the RBDF fleet.

He said the Bahamas loses millions of dollars due to poaching each year and noted that more resources like vessels are needed to protect Bahamian waters and combat the problem.

“I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank the government for its wisdom in acquiring or being in the process of acquiring a new set of vessels for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force because we know how much damage is done to our waters by the poaching from other nations which is illegal in the sense that they’re trespassing in our waters,” he said.

“They’re taking seafood in close season and they’re taking undersize specimens.”

Earlier this year 43 Dominican fishermen were charged for poaching thousands of pounds of seafood.

According to authorities, the catch included 4,374 pounds of legal sized crawfish, another 1,337 pounds of undersized crawfish, two pounds of egg bearing crawfish, 687 pounds of legal sized Nassau Grouper, 233 pounds of under sized Nassau Grouper and 4,125 pounds of mixed fish, a total of 10,750 pounds of seafood.

The loan for the new vessels from the international based bank will be split into two portions; $149 million for the building of eight new vessels, nine inflatable boats and one landing craft, while the remaining $75 million will be used for civil works to ports.

The vessels will be provided by Damen Shipyards, out of the Netherlands, while the upgrades to ports at Coral Harbour, Gun Point, Ragged Island and Matthew Town, Inagua will be done by Van Oord.

Minister of Security Dr. Bernard Nottage recently said the obligations of the RBDF are very demanding and are becoming more challenging.

“As The Bahamas is increasingly being threatened with illicit activities that are inclusive of trafficking in firearms and ammunition, the trafficking of drugs, human smuggling, trafficking in persons and the poaching of our marine resources,” Dr. Nottage said.

“The increased threats require that we adopt new and improved strategies, particularly given the expansiveness and porosity of our borders. In our Charter for Governance, my government committed to securing our borders as a national security is imperative. We pointed out that we must provide the RBDF with the tools, the personnel, the training and the technology they need to succeed. In this regard, during this term in office, my government gave early attention to the acquisition of additional patrol vessels for RBDF.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook