THE Upper Corentyne Fishermen Co-op Society has joined local and international bodies in calling for the release of the Guyanese fishermen who are detained by Venezuelan authorities. Chairman of the Co-op, Pameshwar Jainarine, on Friday, appealed to the Venezuelan authorities to show some compassion and deal with the issue as quickly as possible.
“The Upper Corentyne is outraged with the arrest of the fishers by the Venezuela authorities; based on what is out there, the fishers were in Guyana waters and we condemn this act by Venezuela. We are asking that the authorities do all that is possible for the fast release of the fishermen,” he said.
“We are hearing that 45 days from now they would be on trial and that’s not fair. The fishers were within their rights, they had the required licences to fish in Guyana waters. If they were charged they should be placed on bail not detained for so long,” he said.
Jainarine explained that there were instances in the past where unlicensed fishers attached to the Co-op were found in Suriname waters, were fined and released within a matter of days after detainment. The same, he said, should obtain with regards to the men held in Venezuela so that they would re-united with their families.
Twelve Guyanese fishermen, who were operating their trade along the Waini River in two groups of six on the Lady Nayera and Sea Wolf vessels, were apprehended by Venezuelan naval troops on January 21, 2021.
Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Captain Richard Ramnarine, of the Lady Nayera, and Captain Toney Garraway, of the Sea Wolf, after being apprehended in the Waini area, were instructed to chart a course to Port Güiria in Venezuela, where both vessels, which are registered in Essequibo, and the 12-member crew, who hail from Essequibo, have been detained.
The Guyana Chronicle was informed on Sunday that the crew members of the Sea Wolf included Garraway, Errol Gardener, Orland Roberts, Christopher Shaw, Shirvin Oneil and Randy Henry while the crew members aboard the Lady Nayera were Ramnarine, Ramlakan Kamal, Nick Raghubar, Javin Boston, Michael Domingo and Joel Joseph. Since the incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation has been making a concerted effort to have the men reunited with their families.