In Jamaica, the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry is highly considering putting drones in the sky to monitor the nation’s fisheries resources and fight against illegal fishing executed by poachers.
“We are now in the process of looking at drones to deal with policing our fish resources because we are losing millions of dollars each year to foreign poachers when those catches should be here to feed our people, to export, and to make money," Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke announced at the launch of the Rainforest Seafoods Festival this week at the firm’s Slipe Road complex in Kingston, Jamaica.
Drones are becoming an increasingly popular option, in which other nations are looking at to use in sectors like security and environmental preservation efforts. Some countries have started using drones to keep an eye on endangered animals. Palau has tested out an unmanned aerial vehicle to supervise its ocean waters.
Tens of millions in foreign exchange has been lost in the local fisheries industry on an annual basis all because poachers were out and about. Estimates put the loss at $10 million with an additional $9 million in lobster returns lost to foreign poachers lurking in the waters of Jamaica. These estimations though are thought to be conservative in range.
According to Jamaica Observer, Minister Clarke said that the illicit practice could not be allowed to continue as it was an assault on Jamaica's sovereignty with far-reaching negative consequences for the livelihood of Jamaicans and the economy.
During the function, which took place on this past Tuesday, he promised that the government would be committed to creating policies which would conserve and increase the fisheries industry. This sector alone provides for thousands of Jamaicans.