The Cook Islands police patrol boat is escorting a US tuna vessel to Rarotonga after spotting it fishing illegally in Cooks waters.
The vessel has been identified as a tuna longliner based in American Samoa and was found fishing without a licence about 150 kilometres northeaat of Suwarrow.
The ship was first spotted by the New Zealand air force during a patrol of the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone.
Investigations will continue once the boat is in Rarotonga.
Under Cook Islands law, the owner of a vessel caught fishing illegally can be fined up to 350,000 US dollars.
Two years ago, a Taiwanese vessel was caught near Rakahanga and its owner fined.