Claxton Bay fishermen are losing some of their good friends to the dinner table. Pelicans which guide them to basins where a good catch is almost guaranteed are said to be becoming a part of the diet of people who live in the area. This is a worry to the fishermen because, according to President of the Claxton Bay Fishing Association, Kishore Boodram, the birds are considered to be friends of the fisherfolk who also provide the Pelicans with their daily meals.
But Boodram was quite sad when Newsday visited because fishermen had discovered several beaks and legs of the bird in their nets while fishing.
“This is a clear indication that people are killing the birds for the meats and this is against the law,” he said.
Boodram said there must be some way that the government of the day could protect the birds.
“This is really outrageous that people will be eating these birds. Because they show us where the fishes are in the sea. They lead us to a good catch and I am afraid these birds will fly away from here if they are being threatened.”
The pelican, he said, will leave the country and fly away or hide out at sea if they are being caught to be eaten.
“Of all the birds in this country, I believe the pelican is one of the most sensible as they fly with the fishermen and alert them to where the fishes are and these birds stay at sea during the time that the fishermen are out there.”
When contacted, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said the officials of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) investigated the recent dead pelicans found on the beaches.
“I am aware that villagers in the nearby communities spoke to the EMA about the practice of people hunting the pelican in the Christmas period,” Rambharat said.
Some residents witnessed people shooting the birds, he added. “The necropsy report on the one dead pelican examined showed that the bird was physically damaged and was actually eating at the time of death. This points to the prospect of human interference and possibly the use of food to lure the birds.”
Game Wardens are also investigating the matter, the minister said, and have been paying attention to the complaints about the pelican being hunted contrary to the law.
To that Boodram said he was hoping that people who were killing the pelicans were caught and brought before the courts.
On another note, Boodram said fishermen were still reeling from and incident in which seven men were killed by pirates in Carli Bay on July 24 last year.
“These fishermen are not going out at sea to fish like they did in the past. They do more ‘hook-fishing’ instead of throwing their nets out. This way they stay within close proximity to the shores and they get enough fish to earn a decent wage.
Boodram is also calling on Rambharat to look into the high price of gas for boats.
Credit: Source link