4 Apr 2012

Dead illegal fisherman's boat tried to ram Palauan vessel

6:40 pm on 4 April 2012

Authorities in Palau say a Chinese boat fishing illegally had tried to ram the Palauan vessel that opened fire on it, killing one of the fishermen.

The President's spokesperson says fishermen on powerful speed boats were first spotted in Palauan waters last Thursday but it wasn't until Saturday that fish and wildlife officials were able to catch one of the vessels.

Fermin Meriang says the officials were trying to stop the Chinese boat from leaving when it tried to ram them and so they tried to disable the engines with gunfire.

"It is believed that one of the bullets fired riccocheted off one of the engines and struck one fo the six Chinese fishermen who were in the boat in the thigh and the fisherman eventually died we believe because of loss of blood."

Fermin Meriang says the remaining five Chinese fisherman from that boat and 20 others from the mother ship caught later are being interrogated.

He says the extent of the catch is unknown because the mothership sank after its crew set it alight.