NASSAU| Boatloads of Haitian nationals have been caught fishing in Grand Cay despite new laws that prohibit foreigners from fishing commercially in Bahamian waters.
The Haitians have been spotted in boats, equipped with engines and compressors, fishing in groups of three and four daily.
“Illegal Haitians in Grand Cay are in abundance. It’s too much and all of them are getting ready to go on the boat despite all the laws the minister has passed and y’all ain’t send nobody on Grand Cay to enforce the laws,” said one fisherman on the cay.
He called Grand Cay a “lawless town” adding, “The fishermen here are sending the Haitians out on the boats to deplete our waters.”
There are no Department of Immigration officers on the cay but angry residents tell the Gallery that two Department of Fisheries officials and two police officers on Grand Cay have done nothing to put a stop to this illegal activity.
An Immigration officer from Grand Bahama visited Grand Cay after receiving complaints and proposed that the department conduct a raid to deal with the Haitian fishermen. However, residents say his attempts have been met with resistance.
They suspect that senior officers on the island are afraid to crack down on the Haitians because they are working for Roosevelt Curry, who is a staunch Free National Movement (FNM) supporter on Grand Cay.
Residents are especially upset as crawfish season began on Sunday.
They fear that the Haitians will rape their waters of seafood before residents get the opportunity to fish and make a living.
Recent changes to the Fisheries Act ban non-Bahamians from working in the local fishing industry.