21 Aug 2007

Taiwanese vessel with illegal shark fins caught in Palau waters

5:43 pm on 21 August 2007

A joint Australian-funded operation between Palau, Federated States of Micronesia and the U.S. Navy has intercepted a tuna long-liner within Palau's economic zone waters loaded with illegal shark fins.

The Taiwanese-flagged tuna boat , F/V Sheng Yi Hsing No. 16 which is licensed and based in Palau was intercepted last week.

Its captain, a Taiwanese national, has been arrested for attempting to bribe an officer from the Palau Bureau of Marine Resources, Marine Law Enforcement .

The vessel was brought into Palau and a search of its fish holding areas uncovered more than 90 shark bodies, 10 shark heads and 650 shark fins.

Shark fishing is illegal in Palau.

Investigators also found marlin, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and barracuda that were not entered on the vessel's catch log.