23 Feb 2012

Marshalls fine Japanese vessel for violating shark finning ban

4:07 pm on 23 February 2012

The Marshall Islands police have fined the Japanese tuna transshipment vessel Satsuma 125,000 US dollars as they enforce a new shark fishing ban.

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority confiscated 60,000 pounds of shark carcasses and more than 1,500 pounds of shark fins.

An enforcement officer Marcella Tarkwon says teams have boarded dozens of longline fishing boats and transshipment vessels in Majuro over the past two months.

She says virtually all of the vessels checked had shark fins on board.

The Japanese vessel is the first to be fined under a new fisheries law banning all shark fishing and products that went into force at the end of 2011.

The Authority's director, Glen Joseph, says for the ban to be more effective, the neighbouring Federated States of Micronesia need to adopt the same restrictions.