Coast Guard finds illegal fishing traps on recruitment trip to Saba

Members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, led by Head of Operations Wendell Thodé visited Saba. They met with students at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) to educate on the Coast Guard’s role in the country’s defence, as well as to encourage youngsters to consider the Coast Guard for a career.

Coast Guard members visiting students at Saba Comprehensive School.
Coast Guard members visiting students at Saba Comprehensive School.

During Tuesday’s visit Coast Guard officers handed out information pamphlets as well as water bottles for an upcoming walkathon SCS will be involved in.

Thodé is currently the head of operations for the Coast Guard Substation in St. Maarten that also serves Saba and St. Eustatius.

He said the Coast Guard was on Saba “to make sure that the law is being upheld.” The Coast Guard is concerned that some fisherman, knowingly or unknowingly, have been putting fish or lobster traps within the conservation area of the Marine Park within two miles from Saba’s shoreline.

“This is not constructive to the marine life of our beautiful Saba, and allowing this [traps within the conservation area – Ed.] will be contributing to the destruction of one of our most precious treasures, and is also against the law,” Thodé explained.

The Coast Guard officers confiscated two traps in the prohibited zone during their visit and will continue to control and act on these types of infractions. If the owners of the traps are found they will be fined, it was stated.

The Coast Guard will be making special efforts to educate and enforce the laws in Saban waters to help ensure the future of the Saba Marine Park and conservation area, said Thodé.

“In between our very hectic schedule we put some time aside to address another issue on Saba, which is the youth and our future. We brought propaganda material and also water bottles from the Coast Guard to give to SCS as they will be involved in a walk-a-thon in the coming weeks,” the Coast Guard Head of Operations said.

Thodé hopes their visit made a positive impact and that the youth of Saba would consider a future career with the Coast Guard. “We went to the school to meet the children and show them that the Coast Guard not only gives fines, or stops boats on the sea, but also has a positive social and communicating role with the communities that they serve.”

The Daily Herald.

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