The Grenada Government has written to the Venezuelan Government seeking an explanation for the reason and rationale behind the “accosting and intercepting” of fishing boats in international waters to the west of Grenada.
Nickolas Steele, Minister for International Business and Foreign Trade said that a letter of inquiry was dispatched to the Venezuelan Government via its Grenadian embassy to explain the circumstances that are resulting in the temporary detaining of Grenadian registered fishing vessels recently.
“This is a matter we take very seriously,” said Steele who explained that fishermen knew actually where they were located based on their GPS location. “They knew they were in international waters.”
Steele said that the letter is requesting a report on the matter which will be followed by discussions. “When the report gets back from Venezuela we will have discussions as friendly neighbours as to how to proceed while ensuring that the rights of our citizens are not infringed upon and the relationship between Grenada and Venezuela is not degraded,” he said.
“We do share boundaries between Grenada and Venezuela and as such sometimes there are disputes or misunderstandings. How we handle it will depend on how our relations continue in the future,” he said.
The fishing industry is as an integral component of Grenada economic development. It contributed more than EC$35 million to the economy in 2012.
by Linda Straker