Amid social media criticism of the capture and slaughter of an Orca, one of the fishers who caught the creature on Tuesday has defended the action.
Sylvester Cyris, alias ‘Teraflex’ told St Lucia Times he knew what the critics had been saying.
But he declared that people have to eat, especially these days.
“Going fishing out there is not easy. Sometimes you go fishing and for a whole week it’sjust gas burning and you don’t catch anything. So fishing is not like you knowing you going to fish and you are going to catch tuna or lobster,” Cyris stated.
Regarding the critical social media comments, the former bus driver declared that unless some people are in your shoes, they will not know.
Cyris explained that the Orca he and his partner caught was one of hundreds they spotted when they went out to sea.
He recalled that the two of them left Vieux Fort about 8:30 when about 11:00 am, they saw two birds circling in the air.
Cyris explained that whenever fishers see birds, they recognise that fish are present.
As a result he and his fishing partner went towards the location of the two birds some 13 miles away and spotted the Orcas, also known as killer whales.
They used a spear attached to a long rope to capture one of the creatures, which they eventually towed to shore, subduing it after it struggled for over half an hour.
“We had a fight with it,” Cyris told St Lucia Times.
He estimated that the mammal weighed at least 900 pounds.
“They had hundreds – a lot of them. I was telling my Captain ‘Mama,let me try to video something for my chldren. My children would love to see that – how the others following us while we were going home. How many of them following us while we going down with the one we caught’,” the fisher recalled of this first such experience with such a large Orca.
However, he lamented that the device malfunctioned when he tried to record the scene with his mobile telephone.
When the fishers brought the Orca to shore, they began carving it up, distributing some of the meat to friends, and selling portions to others.
According to officials, the Orca the fishers caught is a juvenile
Saint Lucia’s Fisheries Regulations speak only to protecting marine mammals in bays and harbours.
“A person shall not take, kill, damage or fish for any marine mammal or any species of marine mammals in any bay or harbour of Saint Lucia,” the Regulations say.