30 Guyanese-owned fishing vessels return to Suriname for licensing under renters
Following a request by Surinamese renters for boats owned by Guyanese fisherfolk to return to Suriname for registration, some 30 boats are now in Suriname while another 60 vessels are expected to return to soon.
Based on Surinamese law, fishing licenses are only granted to citizens of that country. Guyanese fisherfolk have, however, been fishing under an exploitative, unsanctioned arrangement wherein they rent the licenses from the Surinamese.
Last week Chairman of the Guyana National Fishing Folk Organisation Permeshwar Jainarine said the fishermen were asked to have their boats remain in Suriname for the registration process.
The News Room understands that with the licences being registered for 2023, the boats must be in Suriname to be on the licence. Therefore, Guyanese who only recently were allowed to bring their boats home will have to return these boats to Suriname.
On Monday, he confirmed that boats have returned to Suriname. “The boats are at sea, when they come back, then we will know what they [renters] say…about 30 boats are in Suriname,” he said.
According to Jainarine, the boats being kept in Suriname face risk of equipment being stolen and makes it difficult for fishermen to make profitable sales.
“When you leave the boat in Suriname there isn’t a proper place to leave it. People can thief things and so from them,” he complained.
In addition, when the boats are docked in Suriname, the fishermen have to make their profits there. Jainarine also said the fishermen fear the renters will soon increase the cost to rent the licences.
Additionally, the fishermen are heavily relying on the government’s efforts to assist them with getting their own licences.
In October, an email was shared in the Surinamese Parliament showing the Surinamese government did indeed commit to granting fishing licences to Guyanese fishermen.
Based on the email, Suriname made additional proposals to improve the licensing arrangement for Guyanese fishermen in keeping with the Dutch-speaking country’s Fisheries Act.