The Government of Jamaica has announced a plans to acquire two drones to improve surveillance and monitoring of the countrys marine space, and also to increase safety at sea.
This was announced on Wednesday Roger Clarke, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries during his contribution to the 2014/2015 Budget Debate in Parliament.
He said his Ministry was in discussions with the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard and the Marine Police to acquire two drones.
"These drones will be fitted with cameras and be deployed as necessary, and will have the capacity to transmit data back to base which will assist in detecting and deterring poachers, as well as assist with search and rescue at sea," Clarke explained. He said that the acquisition of the drones will be funded by a private sector entity.
Poaching, major problem
Poaching of fish, conch and lobster in Jamaican waters has become a major problem plaguing the fishing industry, causing the government to pursue the drone option.
The Minister also annouced his intention to seek an increase in fines for poaching through amendments to the current Fisheries Act, even as work proceeds towards enactment of new legislation to govern the industry.