26 Apr 2017

Blue boat sailors still in Solomons' custody

6:09 pm on 26 April 2017

The 40 Vietnamese crew on the so-called 'blue boats' remain in custody in Solomon Islands almost a month after they were arrested.

Vietnamese blue boats seized on Sunday in Solomon Islands Rennell and Bellona province, for allegedly fishing illegally off of Indispensable Reef, dock at the Patrol Boat Base in Honiara on Wednesday 29-03-2017.

Vietnamese blue boats seized in Solomon Islands. Photo: RNZI/Supplied by Frank Aote’e

The crew and the boats were taken into custody last month after they were found diving for beche de mer in Rennell and Bellona.

Last week, the crew were fined about $US99 each, while the owners of the boats were fined $US4.6 million dollars.

The men are being held at the Rove Detention Centre in Honiara while the immigration department decides what to do next.

The Solomons' public broadcaster reported the men will have until next Monday to pay the fines.

It said if the owners failed to pay, their boats would be destroyed.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs