20 Apr 2017

Blue boats crew members fined in Solomons

8:01 pm on 20 April 2017

The Solomon Islands Magistrate's Court in Honiara has fined 40 crew members of Vietnamese blue boats $US99 dollars each for illegally entering the country.

A Vietnamese "blue boat".

A Vietnamese "blue boat". Photo: AFP

The crew and the boats were detained last month after they were caught fishing illegally in Rennel and Bellona.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reported that the 40 pleaded guilty to entering the country illegally, but they told the chief Magistrate John Numapo, they did not realise they were breaking the law.

Last week, the boats' owners were fined $US1.59 million each.

The fisheries minister, John Maneniaru, said if the owners did not pay the boats would be destroyed.