Categorized | Featured, National News

Migration Slowed Because of Hurricane Season

Defence Force Commodore, Dr. Raymond King


While the end of the year is considered a busy time for illegal migration, with most of the
movement happening at sea, Royal Bahamas Defense Force Marines (RBDF) has seen a slowing
of migration in Bahamian waters.
RBDF commodore, Dr. Raymond King told reporters Monday morning that illegal migration is
slow at this because countries in the Caribbean are in the height of the hurricane season.
“Those smugglers are seafarers as well and they are well aware of when the peak of the
hurricane season occurs.
“It would have occurred September 10th but during this period we still have the hurricanes and
[that is] really affecting any chance of persons being able to successfully and safely migrate
illegally. And so, the Defense Force remain[s] poised and we continue to patrol, we continue to
remain postured, and we work hand in hand with our regional partners, OPBAT, Turks and
Caicos, and [the] Republic of Cuba, and our national agencies.
“So, we guard against any migration” Dr. King said.
The primary concern for the RBDF right now is foreigners who overstay their time in Northern
Bahamas being a part of a smuggling ring.
“We’re working closely with the United States and Homeland Security investigation team to try
to effectively counter that migration issue in and out of The Bahamas.
“We have seen an influx of Ecuadorians recently. A few months earlier, there was an influx of
Chinese, but now the Ecuadorians are becoming a problem in the northern Bahamas. But we
remain in a posture to respond in the unlikely event there’s a hurricane or natural disaster.
“This time of the year we have little or no notice when a hurricane probably will occur because it
usually develops in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea or just north, northwest of Abaco
so the preparation and the response time would be very, very short if a system develops. So we
are quite cognizant of that,” the RBDF Commodore said.
The Defense Force is also monitoring poachers who are trying to take advantage of current
weather conditions.
Although Commodore King did not give any strategic objectives, he said the RBDF is relying on
25 years of data.
“ But, we are quite aware, annually, the areas where the poachers would want to be based on the
fish stocks, the migratory movement of the fish based on whether it’s a hurricane season or you’re

in the winter season, when you have those strong cold fronts coming from the southeastern
United States. And so, we have safeguarded based on about 25 years of data and training.
“And I think now we’ve created a strong deterrence against poaching successfully whenever they
seek to come in those areas with them,” he said.
Commodore King asserted that the Defense Force remains poised and is adequately equipped to
handle any influx in migrants and poachers in Bahamian waters.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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