Probing Portland: Pirates target Manchioneal fishermen
Fishermen at the Manchioneal fishing beach in Portland say although much of the parish is regarded as safe, they wish they could say the same when they venture out to sea.
The fishermen told THE STAR that the space where they seek their livelihood is dangerous, and they have to take steps to safeguard themselves.
According to the fishermen, they have been robbed, shot and left for dead at sea in recent times.
The latest tragedy unfolded last month.
"About three months ago, dem shot up a man a sea, thief him gas and lef him. Him manage fi come back to shore," said one of the fishermen
THE STAR was told that the harbour in Manchioneal is often used as the gateway for boats coming in from Haiti, where the illicit gun-for-drugs trade is active.
"When certain man buck you a sea, is life and death... . Man all deh a sea a pretend to be stranded, and when yuh approach, dem rob you of anything," said another fisherman.
The fishermen, however, have devised a plan to prevent these incidents, and they have seen some changes.
"We no mek one boat guh a sea again. If we a move, a two a we a move, so that if anything happen a sea, we can take care of we self. Not just for the thugs dem, but in case a crew get inna difficulty."
The fishermen believe that if they are able to maintain the teamwork at sea and at the village, then the fishing business will be sustainable.
"A wul heap a fisherman deh bout ya, enuh. When boat dem park up, a man can hop in and out of a vessel go all the way around the beach. A suh we want keep it. The unity is important," said another fisherman.