5 Dec 2011

New Zealand fishing vessel still detained in American Samoa

8:10 pm on 5 December 2011

The American Samoa Customs Division is continuing to hold a New Zealand fishing vessel, San Nikunau, after last week clearing it for departure then recalling it.

The fishing boat has been detained in Pago Pago for over four months in connection with an investigation by the US Coast Guard for an alleged marine pollution violation.

On Wednesday, Customs gave the vessel clearance to leave, but then officials changed their minds.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Steven Caskey says the clearance was given by mistake.

The Coast Guard's investigation has been turned over to the US Department of Justice and the federal agency is currently reviewing the case.