13 Feb 2015

Arrests in Marshalls over illegal fishing

3:17 pm on 13 February 2015

A Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel, its fishing master and radio operator have been arrested in the Marshall Islands for illegal fishing and interfering with fisheries observers.

The vessel, Jih Yu 212, was arrested and searched earlier this week following a court order allowing its arrest and a search by police and Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority enforcement officers.

On Tuesday, the fisheries department filed nine charges against Taiwan-based Chern Lung Fisheries Co. Ltd, which owns the vessel, its fishing master and radio operator.

The company and fishing officers are faced with four counts of fishing without a licence and five counts of obstructing an observer in the performance of his duties.

The vessel faces a maximum fine of $US6.5 million if found guilty of the nine charges.

An initial hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday in the Marshall Islands High Court.