Five thousand dollars for a dolphin and 14 flying fish
SCARBOROUGH, Tobago, Friday July 27, 2012 – Barbadians have been howling long and hard over the cost of living in “the land of the flying fish”, but at least they’ve never had to fork-out TT$5,000 (US$833) for a dolphin and 14 flying fish.
Bajan boat captain Ricardo Elliott wasn’t quite so lucky.
The Barbadian skipper was given until today to pay a court fine of TT$5,000 or serve four months hard labour after he pleaded guilty to a charge of fishing illegally in Tobago waters.
The Scarborough Magistrate’s First Court was told that Elliott, 37, and another fisherman had been observed fishing in Tobago waters last Thursday by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
When their vessel, Pride and Joy, was stopped and searched, a dolphin and 14 flying fish were found.
The catch was confiscated and distributed to a charitable organisation in Tobago.
Earlier this month, Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM Robert “Bobby” Morris said that by the time the next fishing season begins in another three months, a protocol should be in place to ensure Barbadian fishermen are treated “in a humane” way if they enter Trinidad and Tobago waters.
The ambassador said that the document will be “installment one” before a fishing agreement is completed.
A draft submitted by Barbados is currently being evaluated by the government of the twin-island republic and Morris said a response should be forthcoming soon.
The last fishing agreement between the two countries expired in the early 1990’s.