Concerns loom over violence against Fishers in the Region

Open letter to the Governments of Guyana and Suriname

The Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), made up of fishers and their organizations from throughout the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is deeply concerned about the safety of small-scale fishers in the region. We are deeply disturbed about the continued acts of violence, sometimes associated with death, perpetrated against our fishers in Guyana and Suriname. The entire CNFO community mourns, and extends its sympathies to the fishing families that have suffered losses, and particularly the loss of loved ones.

In collaboration with the fishing communities of Guyana and Suriname, the CNFO is calling on the Governments of both Guyana and Suriname to: 

  1. Provide a greater level of protection and support to small scale fishing communities, from this type of criminal activity, by adopting measures to prevent and discourage these acts of violence against fishers, recognizing that fishing activities are conducted in a very different and much more challenging environment than land based activities.
  2. Consider the introduction of stricter laws that will help to deter and punish criminals.
  3. Support the provision, and training in the use, of communications systems and hardware, including equipping boats with VHF radios.
  4. Provide social services and other assistance measures to families affected by this scourge.

See Signed Open Letter below: