The Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, the Hon. Clay Sweeting addressed the issue of poaching on Abaco.

He told reporters, “we just launched our marine patrol crafts with the Department of Marine Resources and we’re working along with the Ministry of National Security.  Last week they did some assessments and they were in Hope Town as well so currently we’re starting to assist in that regard because I know on Abaco, I know the Hope Town council raised some issues as well as other fishermen in the Abaco area.”

Sweeting also spoke on the subject of the price of lobster as the crawfishing season has opened in the country.  “Currently the market is around $7.00, $8.50 in some areas, which is extremely low when you look at last year, when you’re look at $20-$22 per pound and the price of the expenses of fishing remains the same. So we understand the issue, unfortunately this is an issue that’s priced internationally and not locally. The main issue seems to be is that there’s a gut in the market the past three years because of the government’s and Defence Force good work to ensure that poachers have remained off the bank.”