Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Invest More In RBDF

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said the government realizes how crucial it is to properly equip the RBDF to make them more effective and efficient in combating the ever present criminal threats to Bahamian waters.

In a press conference held at the Churchill Building, the minister refered to an incident Monday evening, where a Dominican Poaching vessel was captured after a heated chase and exchange of gunfire between the suspected poachers and RBPF authorities.

“At around 8:00 p.m. yesterday, while on patrol in the Cay Lobos area, HMBS Cascarilla spotted a Dominican fishing vessel illegally fishing in Bahamian waters, the crew attempted to board the vessel and were fired upon and immediately returned fire.

“The obligations of the Defence Force are very demanding and are becoming more challenging as The Bahamas is increasingly being threatened with illicit activities including the poaching of our marine resources,” Dr. Nottage said.

He added that the government realizes how crucial it is to properly equip the RBDF to make them more effective and efficient.

“The government’s commitment is to ensure that the Defense Force is equipped to effectively protect our territorial waters and meet The Bahamas’ obligations in the area of maritime safety and security,” Dr. Nottage said.

Acting Commander of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force Tellis Bethel spoke to the steady decline of our fishery resources and the initiatives the government has put in place to address them.

“Over the years there has been real concern about the depletion of our fishery resources by Dominican poachers, with the acquisition of a patrol craft under the government’s Sandy Bottom project.

“We’ve now been able to bring on stream additional patrol crafts – so that we are able to maintain a 24/7 presence on the Great Bahama Bank.

“Based on the reports I received from the local fishermen, the Defence Force has seemed to have some degree of success as reported sightings have been significantly reduced and this latest incident reminds us that we must continue to be vigilant,” Mr. Bethel said.

Bethel added outside of the various criminal elements threatening Bahamian waters, the RBDF has been helping restore out islands affected by Hurricane Joaquin.

“The Defence Force has also been engaged in assisting the National Emergency Management Agency with the continued efforts of restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, so even now we have several persons stationed in the family islands to assist with recovery efforts.

“Instead of centralizing our units in Nassau we have dispersed them throughout the various family islands not only to assist but as more effective method of apprehending criminals,” Mr. Bethel said.

Outside of the poaching incident, RBDF apprehended 199 Haitian Migrants off the west coast of Northern Andros on Friday.

An investigation has been launched into this incident.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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