An urgent call on a marine band radio, monitored by a HAM radio operator, reported that two women and a man in a locally made open boat, seine fishing only meters from the Sandy Island shoreline (inside the Sandy Island Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area, SIOBMPA) were demanding $3,000.00 from a yacht at anchorage off Sandy Island, alleging that persons aboard had “let go” fish caught in their seine; an allegation that the captain of the yacht said was a complete falsehood – a fabrication designed to extort money from visitors.
Short on hard cash, a “RANSOM” OF $1000.00 was negotiated and paid by the captain, under duress.
As of this writing, Sunday, November 30, 2014, an official of the SIOBMPA, allegedly holding two paid managerial full time positions (here I stand corrected) has taken no steps whatsoever to resolve the matter which occurred on Friday, November 28th 2014.
Paid approximately $3,500.00 by CaribSave to be missing in action at SIOBMPA – in the heat of battle? Headquartered in Barbados, CaribSave is a regional climate change/sustainable development not-for-profit organization.
The people of the Tri-island state must demand answers and quick resolution to an act of “Piracy” that will taint the name of our country regionally and internationally, in an era of economic hardship, as the Grenada Tourist Authority is hard at work boosting tourism with the new image – Pure Grenada.
Tourism is our prime money earner putting food on the tables of vendors, farmers and hundreds of hotel employees, with the yachting and dive sectors major economic stabilisers, especially in Carriacou.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell’s appeal for sacrifice, at this crucial moment, to make Project Grenada a success, will be derailed by the callus inaction of cells of absentee managers who expose Grenadians to ridicule, if no swift corrective measures are taken, as we brace for recovery from the economic avalanche.
This calls to question, would SIOBMPA have been more efficiently run without an expensive absentee? At a time when the Doc. is looking to rid the country of “dead weights” fleecing Grenada, it may not be a bad idea to cast an eye on SIOBMPA.
An exhaustive independent investigation into the matter – of national
import – culminating with a return of the “extorted money” and possible prosecution, will serve notice that acts of “PIRACY – treason on the high seas – shall have no place in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique -zero tolerance.
We are fortunate to live in a democracy imbued with a system of justice that protects the weak from the overpowering strong – a system that makes provision for disputes between parties, civil matters, to be decided in a court of law, not by the coercive power of vigilante justice.