Fishing vessel owners fined

Apr 24, 2004
Author: P&S

The owners of two fishing vessels arrested in Mozambique waters by a combined Mozambique and South Africa sea fishery operation (see Ports & Ships News & Stories dated 13 and 20 March 2004), have been fined the equivalent of USD667,000 each and their illegal catch has been confiscated, reports the Mozambique news agency AIM.

The two fishing vessels registered in Indonesia and China were apprehended for illegal fishing near Sofala off the Mozambique coast during March and were taken into detention by the South African sea fisheries vessel Eagle Star.

According to the Mozambique agency the owners have been unable to pay the fine despite a requested extension of five days. As a result the Mozambique authorities are now considering the legal implications of confiscating the two vessels. Both ships had cargoes of shark and other unlawful catches in their hold at the time of the arrests. This cargo is to be sold at public auction and unlicensed fishing equipment on board destroyed.

Ironically, the Eagle Star, which helped make the arrests, was itself confiscated by the South African authorities after the former Hout Bay owners in South Africa were found guilty of using the vessel for illegal fishing activities.

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