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4/03/2008

Fishermen count losses after rough weather

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA - high waves over the Easter weekend completely destroyed a number of fishpots, and displaced an even larger amount, leading to some economic challenges for fishermen. About 25 per cent of fishermen reported that their fishpots were displaced because of the rough waters.They will use GPS technology to find the fishpots once they have been released into the water, but even allowing for some travelling, some just cannot be found. The majority of fishermen, however, suffered no loss and were able to bring in hundreds of pounds of fish over the weekend. The major loss was felt by about three per cent of fishermen who said that their fishpots were damaged beyond repair due to the powerful waves. The most severe damage was sustained by those fishermen who sank their fishpots in the shallow waters off Barbuda, where most lobsters are caught. The shallowness exposed the fishpots to the roughness of the waves. Some fishermen blame the ‘freak’ occurrence on climate change because they remember that around Easter, it has always been calm, allowing for casual fishing for the holiday. Based on normal weather patterns, fishermen would have anticipated the high waves and moved all their fishpots to deeper water, which is considered safer.
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