Fisherfolk Urged to Take Precautions as Hurricane Irma Nears Leewards

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is today urging fisherfolk to exercise extreme care at sea and take immediate precautions to secure marine assets following this evening’s announcement by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) that long-period ocean swells are currently affecting the coastlines of the Caribbean region, including Trinidad and Tobago, as a result of Hurricane Irma.

The long-period swells, the met service bulletin said, are forecast to continue through Wednesday evening with peaks generated by Hurricane Irma now roughly 610 miles east of the Leeward Islands.

Trinidad’s North Coast as well as the sheltered coastlines of Tobago are expected to see dangerous waves and disruption to nearshore and coastline activities including sea bathing. Conditions in open waters are forecast at moderate to rough, possibly rising in excess of three metres at various points between Tuesday and Wednesday. The TTMS is forecasting that the Leeward Islands will experience storm surges on account of Hurricane Irma’s proximity.

No official hurricane or tropical storm warning or tropical cyclone watch has yet been issued for Trinidad and Tobago, but the TTMS expects that these long-period swells associated with Irma can create wave heights that increase sharply.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is echoing the met service’s warning to fisherfolk, small craft operators, sea bathers and the public at large, particularly those residing in coastal areas, to remain alert and take action to preserve lives and secure their property.

The Ministry is monitoring TTMS bulletins and any changes in the forecast track of Hurricane Irma which may affect Trinidad and Tobago. We have also advised county offices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries to monitor developments in their respective regions.

The Ministry’s interagency response team led by Mr. Barry Mahabir is on standby to provide assistance to fisherfolk should it become necessary.

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