Praslin fishermen have complained that ongoing theft of their fish pots is causing them great distress and making them operate at a loss.
They have warned that the situation could lead to violent confrontations at sea unless the authorities intervene.
Bernard Francis, who told St Lucia Times that he comes from a family of fishers, explained that because they are Seventh Day Adventists, most thefts occur on Saturdays when they are not at sea.
He said someone actually filmed a fish pot thief in the act, but the thief cut the fish pot rope.
“Today there was an incident where one of the guys caught that same vessel raising pots and there was a confrontation and the police got involved,” Francis noted.
He told St Lucia Times that an estimated 20 Praslin fishers are victims of the practice of fish pot theft which dates back decades.
The 41 year old recalled that as a child, he would hear his father complain.
However Francis lamented that this year the situation has been at its worst.
He explained that he has about 60 pots but fails to recoup the money he spends in gasoline when the fish he expects to catch and sell are stolen.
Francis said some fishers have turned to underwater devices called Galvanic Timed Releases or Pop Ups for their fish pots to solve the problem.
“It is costly, but that is our best bet,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
He said countless reports have been made to the police about fish pot theft.
Francis recalled that last year a man was caught stealing a fish pot, was apprehended by fishers and handed over to the police.
But he lamented that nothing ever came out of the case.
“That is one of our problems,” Francis told St Lucia Times.
He revealed that the problem of fish pot theft is also a concern for fishers in other parts of Saint Lucia.