Tensions rising between local and Micronesian fishermen

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FSM consul general Teresa Filepin (PNC file photo)

Santa Rita Mayor Dale Alvarez is concerned about the growing competition between local fishermen and the immigrant community for the dwindling stocks of bottom fish around the island.

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“I’m getting a lot of complaints from the local fishermen. Charter boats just cut right in front of them or right behind them cutting their fishing lines,” Alvarez said.

Tensions are rising in the fishing grounds around the island.

Local fisherman are competing with their Micronesian counterparts, says Alvarez, and sometimes it gets tense out there

“Two or three local fishermen were waiting for the slip that’s being occupied by the fishermen, the Micronesian fishermen. They went two or three more boats came in. They just went up without falling in line. I guess, they don’t know. They’re not educated about what’s going on. So, of course, the locals say hey, we’ve been waiting here and everything you know. Almost a fight? Yeah, because one shouted at one, they all got together, they started shouting at the locals and almost caused a fight,” the mayor said.

Alvarez raised his concerns at a recent Mayors Council meeting. His concerns prompted the mayors to invite FSM consul general Teresa Filepin to address the council last week

“I’m not here to provide answers,” Filepin said. “I’m here to ask for your help. We need to work more closely together. I don’t have all the answers for our FSM citizen problems here on Guam. There is a lot of them. It’s been recurring over the years. Same issues. It’s been getting … everybody’s concerned about what’s happening,” she added.

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