Monday, December 21, 2020

Ingraham hits at Fisheries Bill

 Former PM: Govt tarnishing FNM’s record on equality.

 In this November file photo, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham speaks to reporters.

Kyle Walkine
The Nassau Guardian

Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he was “distressed and disappointed” to learn that a Free National Movement government, a party that has fought for equality before the law for all citizens, would implement a “pointedly discriminatory” provision in the Fisheries Bill, 2020, which prevents the foreign spouses of Bahamians from engaging in commercial fishing.

In a letter to the editor, Ingraham said he was moved to publicly support the position taken by East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest on the matter. 

When Turnquest contributed to debate on the Fisheries Bill last week, he said it is a slippery slope to ban foreign spouses of Bahamians from fishing commercially.

The bill reads: “No person shall engage in fishing, or be employed on a commercial fishing vessel for fishing other than sport fishing in the fisheries waters; and use or be employed on a commercial fishing vessel licensed under this act for fishing other than charter sport fishing, unless that person is a citizen of The Bahamas.”

Ingraham said, “I lament the position taken by the government on this matter.

“The provision excluding spouses of Bahamians from commercial fishing tarnishes the codification of the fisheries law.

“This offending provision, with an obscenely outrageous penalty, will overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, have a negative impact upon Bahamian women married to foreign nationals who are engaged in the fishing sector.

“It will have widespread ripple effects on human rights of persons legally present in our country with an unrestricted right to work.”  Read more >>