#Nassau, August 13, 2018 – Bahamas – At a Special sitting of Magistrate Courts on Friday past at the Remand Centre at the Department of Correctional Services, 46 Dominicans changed their Pleas from “Not Guilty” to that of “guilty” on charges related to illegal fishing in Bahamian waters.
The Dominican nationals received were previously charged before the courts on July 12 after they were apprehended by HMBS Madeira for poaching in the southern Bahamas. At that time, they pleaded “not guilty” to numerous charges totaling over $3 million dollars, namely:
(1) Illegal Foreign fishing.
(3) Possession of Fresh Crawfish during the closed season from April 1st – July 31st 2018.
(4) Possession of Undersized Crawfish.
(5) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus.
(6) Engaging in Illegal Foreign Fishing within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas.
In Friday’s (August 10) hearing, all of the Dominicans pleaded guilty and were subsequently convicted and fined $53,000 each. This represented an increase of two and a half times the maximum amount (that is, $20,000) levied against Dominicans apprehended by the Defence Force earlier in June.
The Captain of the vessel, Radhames Hernandez, was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in Prison for Firearm Possession and one year for Possession of a shot gun and ammunition. Those charges are to run concurrently.
Another Dominican was fined $100,000 because this was his second conviction for poaching in Bahamian waters. All of the men were remanded in custody at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, and will be deported on completion of jail time or payment of fines.
In an interview with local media during the announcement of The Bahamas receiving the highly prized Marine Stewardship Council Certification, Commodore Tellis Bethel, stated that success in recent apprehensions was the result of a collaborative efforts between the Defence Force and the commercial fishing community.
On July 8, the 46 Dominicans were apprehended aboard their vessel ‘Ronnye’ approximately 20 nautical miles south east of Cay Lobos by HMBS Madeira under the command of Senior Lieutenant William Sturrup. Approximately 33, 000 pounds of fishery products were confiscated from that vessel.
This arrest was made shortly before the apprehension of six American nationals who were found fishing in a prohibited area on Saturday past in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park by the Park’s Warden with the support of Defence Force Marines assigned to the area. They have since been charged before the courts in Nassau.
Prior to that incident, HMBS Durward Knowles, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Omarv Saunders, apprehended 4 Dominican fishermen aboard a 50-ft Dominican fishing vessel, ‘Brailyn’ for poaching on the Great Bahama Bank on June 16th.
They too were charged before the courts in Nassau. Three of the individuals were fined twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or 8 months in jail, and the other was fined ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or 4 months in jail.
“Stiffer penalties not only act as a deterrent, but also add to the Bahamian economy when those who violate Bahamian fisheries laws are brought to justice by the hard-working men and women of the Defence Force,” said Commodore Bethel. “The award of the Marine Stewardship Council’s certification attests to the positive impact the Defence Force is having on marine conservation efforts in collaboration with partner law enforcement agencies, the commercial fishing sector and nongovernmental environmental agencies.”
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to protect the territorial integrity of The Bahamas.
(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)
Over 68,000 STAYED HOME in Bahamas Elections; We have BEST and WORST for Voter Participation
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – The just-concluded General Election in Bahamas has presented a new shift in governance. The former ruling part, Free National Movement, lost nearly all the electoral seats it secured in the 2017 general elections. However, this seems a swap of the Progressive Liberal party’s score in the 2017 general elections in which the former ruling party (FNM) won nearly all the parliamentary seats.
68,000 STAYED AWAY
While the FNM secured 35 out of 39 seats in the 2017 ballot, leaving only four slots for the Opposition, the 2021 elections presented “new day” with the Opposition clinching 32 parliamentary seats, leaving the former ruling party FNM with only seven slots.
However, the election results showed a significant drop in voter turnout compared to the 2017 election results. Out of 194,494 registered voters in The Bahamas, only 126,414 voted, translating to 65 per cent voter turnout.
PREVIOUS ELECTION HIGHER
This was different from the previous election in which 160,407 out of 181,543 registered voters cast their ballots, translating to a remarkable 88.36 per cent voter turnout.
Being the first election in the island nation since the Covid-19 struck the Caribbean; the dismal voter turnout could be attributed to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in The Bahamas and the current countermeasures taken by individuals to avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It could also be voter apathy.
BEST IN SHOW
Despite coronavirus prevalence in the country, North Andros & Berry Islands, Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and Mangrove Cay & South Andros constituencies recorded an impressive voter turnout of 77.99 per cent, 76.11 per cent and 73.06 per cent respectively.
North Andros & Berry Islands had 2,126 out of 2,569 registered voters cast their ballots, followed by 1,255 out of 1,622 in Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador, and 1,706 out of 2,164 registered voters in Mangrove Cay & South Andros.
VERY LOW SHOW
The bottom three constituencies in terms of voter turnout include Bamboo Town, which had 3,436 out of 5,838 (58.63 per cent) registered voters cast their ballot, followed by Garden Hills with 3,033 out of 5,287 (57.09 per cent), and Central & South Abaco falling at the bottom of the list with 1,844 out of 3,271 (55.96 per cent).
BAHAMAS: Nine new Cabinet ministers sworn-in
#TheBahamas, September 21, 2021 – Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis today introduced the first set of new Cabinet ministers with portfolios covering the Attorney General, Foreign Affairs, Education, Works and Public Utilities, Health and Wellness, Government Affairs, Agriculture, National Security and Legal Affairs.
The nine ministers were sworn-in on Monday 20 September 2021 by Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith during ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Center.
“They are the initial members of a Cabinet which will reflect the breadth and depth of the competencies and characteristics of our team: experience combined with innovation; expertise combined with a willingness to see things anew; integrity and a strong sense of purpose,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“They are receiving these appointments because of their determination to get things done.”
- Senator the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder, Attorney General;
- Hon. Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Public Service;
- Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education, and Technical and Vocational Training;
- Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Works and Utilities;
- Dr. Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness;
- Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Government Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate;
- Hon. Clay Sweeting, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs;
- Hon. Wayne Munroe, Minister of National Security; and
- Hon. Jomo Campbell, Minister of State for Legal Affairs.
“I am confident that these first-appointed members of our Cabinet team are ready to deliver on the promise of a New Day for our Bahamas,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Davis pledged to move with urgency to address the economic and health crises that are faced by The Bahamas.
Many thousands of Bahamians are out of work, people are losing too many loved ones to the COVID-19 virus and Bahamian schoolchildren are falling behind, said Prime Minister Davis.
“I want to be clear: we are not here to tinker at the edges of these problems,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are here to meet them head on.”
Prime Minister Hon. Philip Davis pledges to govern in the interests of all Bahamians
#TheBahamas, September 19, 2021 – During his ceremonial swearing-in today as the nation’s fifth Prime Minister, Hon. Philip Davis pledged to govern in the interests of all Bahamians and to consult widely with the Bahamian people.
The best way to make progress as a nation is to bring people together, said Prime Minister Davis, who was presented with his instruments of Office in ceremonies held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre, on Saturday 18 September 2021.
“We will uphold the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly, so that it’s not one rule for one set of people, and another for another set of people,” said the Prime Minister.
“There is much work to be done; but I know that by working together we can succeed and build the kind of prosperous, independent Bahamas that our founding fathers dreamed for us.”
Prime Minister Davis said that while there are big challenges ahead for The Bahamas, his team has the right vision and policies to take the country forward.
The Prime Minister said the new administration is coming into office at a time when the Bahamian people are hurting as never before.
The country faces many crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy in decline and deeply concerning challenges in education, said Prime Minister Davis.
If everyone works together towards a common purpose, in the common interest and for the common good, great things are possible for The Bahamas and its people, said the Prime Minister.
But no government can do great things on its own, Prime Minister Davis added.
“I am sure that my government can only succeed if we partner with the Bahamian people,” said the Prime Minister.
“We are going to listen, we are going to consult widely and we are going to bring people together.”
18 September 2021
Office of the Prime Minister
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
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