Published On: Thu, Nov 28th, 2013

‘Local fishermen have nothing to do with illegal fishing’

West PointWILLEMSTAD – ‘Illegal fishing must be addressed in Curaçao. The island received a yellow card from the European Commission and runs the risk that trade restrictions are imposed.’

The local fishermen are surprised. “It is not illegal fishing and we do not export our fish to Europe,” said Edwin ‘Makambi’ Flameling. Spear fishing is the only thing we do that is actually not allowed. Spear fishing is a method that is increasingly used by professional fishermen to save gasoline costs.

Curacao flag

The fishermen do not think that the yellow card was handed out for spear fishing. Their fish is in fact not traded abroad. The boats at stake are boats that can sail under the Curacao flag, but are not from the island. “The boats are allowed to catch our international quota through offshore structures,” according to Flameling. "I think there are people who make a lot of money doing this. We don’t see that money back.”

No answer

Flameling has previously approached the government with questions about this, but received no answer. Minister of Environment and Nature Ben Whiteman was not available for comment.

Source: Caribbean Network

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