TWO missing Belle Garden fishing pirogues have been found, minus their engines.
Police said on Thursday night or Friday morning, between 11pm and 3am, two boats, Unity TFT 1429 and Sauce TFT 1662, were found to have been stolen from Belle Garden Bay.
On Friday evening, Sauce TFT 1662 was found damaged against the rocks at Studley Park, and on Sunday, Unity TFT 1429 was found at Bacolet Beach.
The owner of Unity TFT 1429, Frankie Scott, told Newsday yesterday he was disappointed when he learnt that his vessel was missing, and while he was relieved it had been found, he was distraught when he heard the engine was missing.
Scott is calling for improved security at Belle Garden Bay.
“The security system needs to be a little more beefed up and the lighting system more functioning and the security there a little more observant along the perimeters of the beach itself.
“We have no choice but for our vessels to remain parked by the beachfront, because where we fish from, we have to actually moor there and trek to our respective homes.”
The fishing facility is in an isolated area at the end of Bay Street, over two kilometres from the Windward Road.
He said the losses were in excess of $50,000 for each boat, adding that since reporting the theft and having the vessel returned, he has not heard from the police.
President of the All Tobago Fisherfolk Association, Junior Quashie, said fishermen in Tobago generally were fed up of having their equipment stolen.
“To be quite honest, you can’t find words to say how you feel about this situation. Between a month and a half ago to two months, we have lost four engines: two in Plymouth and two in Belle Garden.
“People are really ridiculous. Fishermen does try too hard or face the bank. The men who lost their engines are still paying the bank for these engines. It come like just paying the bank for something you don’t have.”
Quashie is calling on the Tobago House of Assembly again at least to instal CCTV cameras in the area to monitor the boats and the facility.
“Something has to be done about it. As fisherfolk, we have been going down a slippery road and to be honest, we look like we are always being neglected. Nobody seems to care about us any more. We have to just do what we have to do and who sink, sink and who float, float.
Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer could not be reached for comment, as calls to his mobile went unanswered.