16 Apr 2012

Palau to release Chinese held after illegal fishing

1:13 pm on 16 April 2012

25 Chinese fishermen who were detained by Palau and charged with illegal fishing will reportedly return home.

China's Xinhua News Agency reports that a Palau judge has approved an out-of-court settlement that will release the men on Wednesday.

The fishermen were detained on March the 31st after Palau authorities fired shots at one of two Chinese fishing vessels caught fishing illegally, killing one crew member.

The Pacific Daily News reported that Palau's President Johnson Toribiong met representatives from the Chinese Embassy in the Federated States of Micronesia days after the incident in an effort to ease tension with China.

An American pilot and two Palau police officers dispatched aboard a small airplane to track one of the Chinese fishing boats have vanished.

An unsuccessful search by the US Coast Guard and Palau authorities for the missing plane and passengers was called off last week.