7 Dominican fishermen escorted to face charges before the courts on December 14th, 2018.

(RBDF Press Release)  Coral Harbour Base, 15 DEC. ‘18:   Three days after they were apprehended by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, 7 Dominican fishermen were charged before the courts on December 14, 2018 in New Providence for poaching in Bahamian waters.

The RBDF patrol craft P-129, coxswained by Petty Officer Edison Rolle, apprehended the 7 Dominicans aboard two small go-fast type boats approximately 20 feet in length. The incident took place around noon on Tuesday 11 November 2018 in the area of Little Inagua with approximately 150 pounds of scaled fish and lobster on board.

Dominicans (2)
Confiscated illegal catch from Dominican poachers.

Fausto Garcia , Gabriel Pailora, Carlos Duran, Ramon Lopez , Carlos Rodriguez, Elias Simon and Juan Duran all appeared before Magistrate Cara Turnquest in Court #11 and were charged with four offences under the Fisheries Resources Act as follows:

(1) Illegal Foreign Fishing within the Exclusive Fishery Zone.
(2) Possession of a Grouper during the closed season from 1st December 2018 – 28th February 2019.
(3) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus, namely Air Compressor Tank
(4) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus, namely Spear Guns.

In Friday’s hearing, all of the Dominicans pleaded guilty and were subsequently convicted and fined a total of $413,000 each or time spent in jail. Jail sentences are to run concurrently. Fines and sentences were as follows:

Count # 1: Fined $50,000 each or 9 months in jail. Count # 2: Fined $3,000 each or 6 months in jail. Count # 3: Fined $3,000 each or 6 months in jail; and Count # 4: Fined $3,000 each or 6 months in jail.

Prior to this incident, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force had apprehended a total of 172 Dominican poachers and 4 Dominican fishing vessels with over 100,000 pounds of fisheries products in June, July and October of this year.

The poachers were all charged and found guilty by the courts for various fishing violations, and sentenced to time ranging from 6 to 18 months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services; total fines awarded were approximately $7 million.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to protect the territorial integrity of The Bahamas.  (For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)