Members of the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda (FAB) plan to gather at the Cabinet Building tomorrow, with their supporters, to hand deliver “in support of greater participation opportunities for the fishing industry in the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Plan process”.

Association President, Allan Bean said Premier David Burt has agreed to receive the petition at 1:30pm tomorrow (Jan 13).

He also released a copy of the association’s letter, dated December 29, 2022, sent to “the Premier and all sitting MP’s of notice of the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda’s intent to present the results of our petition”.

The Letter:

The Fisherman’s Association of Bermuda (FAB) wish to confirm your availability to receive our petition regarding the draft Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Plan, at the Cabinet Office, on January 13th, 2023. The FAB petition is supported by thousands of Bermudians in relation to the FAB withdrawing their support and participation until the Plan allows for fair representation in developing an inclusive Marine Management Plan for Bermuda.

The FAB has sought a meeting with the Minister responsible via our letter of December 20th, 2022, however, to date we have not received a formal response nor any indication of his willingness to meet.

We wish the Premier, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and the people of Bermuda to know that the FAB is prepared and willing to participate in developing an inclusive Bermudian plan which affords fair representation, management, and adequate enforcement of existing and future regulations which promotes good stewardship.

Further the FAB stresses that any plan needs to recognize and address the problematic issues, as identified in BOPP’s documentation “The State of Bermuda’s Waters” that inshore waters and bays continue to be negatively impacted primarily by pollution, water runoff, construction, and erosion, not over-fishing as is being presented. The current plan does nothing to address, legislate or enforce these key issues, it only suggests that these critical issues need to be addressed at a later time.

Lastly, the FAB is hopeful that you and the government will be open to listening to our concerns and more importantly recognize that the current BOPP should not continue to proceed “as is”. FAB members are hardworking Bermudian fishermen who have to date tried to participate in the BOPP proceedings but due to the foreign oversight and predetermined outcomes have been overlooked and undervalued.

We will continue to fight for our industry and livelihood by ensuring proper management, enforcement, and harvest of our Marine resources.

FAB looks forward to the opportunity to meet and discuss our concerns with the view of creating an inclusive and mutually beneficial Bermudian Marine Management Plan.

Regards,

Allan Bean President