18 June, 2007

Fishy Story

Anguilla’s Longline Fishing Boat. Just a few years ago we used to hear regularly about the long-line fishing boat. There was a young professional fisherman from Trinidad who was on the island for several years demonstrating the effectiveness of the technique. A boat was acquired from some funding source to carry out the procedure. Then, everything went quiet. It has been some years now that we have heard nothing about the project. So, I was curious when I received this email in just a few days ago.

On page 23 of today's Anguillian we see the former "Fishtec" for sale. This is a long story of incompetence, theft, government indecision and the waste of a huge amount of money. Lou Bardfield has a long and interesting story to tell. And according to the guy who ran the venture for two years, this is the world's only long-line fishing boat that didn't catch piles of birds and turtles - which of course is impossible.

The second phone number in the ad is:
Marsha Kotalac (508) 228-9023 Miacomet Ave, Nantucket, MA 02554
I have no idea who she is.

I contacted Dr Louis Bardfield. He has promised to tell me the story. When I hear more, I shall be sure to let you know.


  1. Long-line fishing is a commercial technique in which thousands of hooks are attached to a single line. Those baited hooks trail behind the boat near the surface, attracting anything that eats, including birds, sea turtles, dolphins and endangered species. Some are hooked, others are entangled or drowned.

    While long-lining is being phased out in some parts of the world, it was pushed on Anguilla by the geniuses at DFID and the Dependent Territories Regional Secretariat, then under the direction of ex-Governor Alan Huckle. In fiscal year along the sum of £670,000 was spent on this stupidness. I believe it was funded for three years.

  2. "Fishing [in Anguilla] is mostly near shore; a long line trawler fishing project that ended in 2000 proved unsuccessful. Most fishermen (perhaps 300) are reported to fish part-time (and most of these persons are thought to be elderly); there are no more than about 50 full time fishermen." --Caribbean Development Bank, December 2002

  3. Typing correction: the £670,000 was spent in fiscal year 1997/98.

  4. Last week Fisheries sent notices to beach hotels about a project they will be starting soon to assist hatching baby turtles who, when trying to crawl down the beach and into the sea, can be distracted by hotel lighting. I commend Fisheries for sponsoring this project to support sea turtles, all species of which are endangered. But...

    Did they use the existing AHTA email system that connects to virtually all beach hotels? Did they spend EC$.30 to mail the notices to the hotels? No, they sent a man and a pickup truck from Captains Bay to West End to deliver the notices.

    We can send a man to college to get a degree in marine biology -- and it's great that we do that. But the result of then appointing him as a department head, when he has neither training nor experience in management, results in this sort of misuse of scarce resources. What important work never got done because an experienced technician was told to spend a whole day doing stupidness? We will never know.

  5. Other islnads have incompetency in the public service. Anguilla has "strategic challenges."


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