11 Aug 2004

Marshall Islands introduces system to make prosecution of pirate fishing more robust

3:34 pm on 11 August 2004

The Marshall Islands is cracking down on illegal fishing in its exclusive economic zone with a new system making it more difficult for offenders to escape prosecution.

The deputy attorney-general, Posesi Bloomfield, says they've looked at ways to collect evidence which will stand up in court.

And, he says, with the help of the Royal Australian navy, they've created a system of user friendly documents, including citation and chain of custody forms, for sea patrol officers when they board boats operating illegally.

Mr Bloomfield says this will make it easier to carry through prosecution.

"It's fine to have this tuna convention in place, it's fine to have all these laws in place but when it comes down to it, as we all know, it's the enforcement and it's the successful prosecution of fisheries violations that will send out the most deterrent message to any unregulated fishermen out there."

Posesi Bloomfield, deputy attorney-general.