Five boat engines were stolen at the Cocorite Fishing Port over the weekend and now the fishermen who operate there are asking for help to install a closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
“I don’t want fishing to die here you know what I mean this is a sacred place to us, this place here feeds many mouths and many families in Cocorite get fed from this market”, said President of the Cocorite Fishermen Association, Anthony “Morgan” Jackson.
Fishermen said the attacks against them are not uncommon. In the past, they have faced theft at the port.
Jackson told the Trinidad Guardian, that they have put preventative measures in place to deter theft, but it has not worked.
He added, “We just spent a lot of money on our lighting system, just upgraded it to LED lights and all of that we have some intentions of getting some cameras but the cameras we really need is the CCTV so that the government and everyone can see what is happening. We put up some cheap cameras that is what we can afford we are poor fishermen.”
On Sunday morning, when fishermen at Cocorite port came to head out to sea, they noticed four boats missing.
They went in search of the vessels in the high sea and recovered the boats minus the engine and other gears.
Jackson said he wrote to all the authorities even Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and requested that a Police Post be placed at the port.
“We are asking the government or any state or private enterprise if they could help the fishermen you know what I mean to get back their engines you talking about five men sitting down here on the market cannot do anything you know now if we had 20 fishermen now we have 15 this is putting a crunch on us. We have fishermen here with children and going to school you need computers they have to pay their rent is everything”, he said.
He said he suspected that a “ring or cartel” could be responsible for the thefts since other ports were affected.
Jackson said the association will be limiting access to the jetty and may even enforce a time that the area can be open to the public for sightseeing or recreational fishing.
He said this will assist in helping fishermen monitor the facility and prevent further thefts. Police are continuing investigations.