1 Dec 2004

Penalty for Chinese vessel for fishing illegally in Fiji waters

1:34 pm on 1 December 2004

The Suva High Court has fined the master of a Chinese registered vessel caught fishing illegally in Fiji waters 6,000 US dollars and ordered the forfeiture of the boat.

Justice Nazhat Shameem rejected Yang Shui Xing's defence that his vessel had drifted into Fiji waters when the offences took place on two occasions last July.

She said she could not accept that vessels equipped with the Global Positioning Satellite Navigation System could drift accidentally.

Justice Shameem said forfeiture of the vessel was the only way to deter foreign vessels from fishing illegally in Fiji waters in the belief that enforcement is inadequate and the penalties imposed are of little monetary value.