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Fishing accord ‘a must’

Yvette Best

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The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) thinks a fishing agreement between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago is critical to the good relationship the two countries now enjoy.
In a release issued yesterday, CTUSAB said it was “deeply concerned” over the failure of successive governments of Barbados to reach a fishing agreement with the twin-island republic.
The umbrella body’s concerns came a day after ten fishermen, who were held in Trinidad and Tobago for more than a week for illegal fishing, returned safely home.
“CTUSAB calls attention to the fact that Barbadian fishermen are workers, who like all others, are deserving of a measure of comfort and protection. In the absence of a fishing agreement with Trinidad and Tobago, there remains an existing threat to their livelihood and investment, and to the sustainability of the fishing industry of the island on a whole,” the statement said.
The congress has pledged its support for diplomatic efforts by the Government of Barbados to reach an understanding with its Trinidadian counterparts.
“The congress anticipates that every effort will be made to include the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organization (BARNUFO) and the All-Tobago Fisherfolk Association in the consultative process in arriving at a bilateral agreement or a memorandum of understanding,” the release added.
Newly-appointed Ambassador to CARICOM Robert “Bobby” Morris said the still elusive fishing agreement between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago was job No. 1, and that he had set himself a one-year period to achieve substantial progress.