Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere has appealed to fishers to install free vessel tracking devices, declaring it could save their lives by helping emergency responders to locate boats in distress at sea.
The government has begun distributing 300 of the units.
“We’re not forcing any fisherfolk or any boat owner to place it on their boat,” the Agriculture Minister told reporters on Monday.
However, he said he wished all boat owners would install the units.
“I would like, as I mentioned to you, we would have a policy in place to make it mandatory but I am not sure. We are going to look at it in terms of what the response is for now and if that time comes when it has to happen, we would have no choice,” the Minister stated.
Prospere spoke on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting.
He recalled that many fishers have gone missing, sometimes very close to shore.
“But because we have difficulty locating them, they sometimes perish at sea,” the Minister observed.