$52K collected from illegal fishing fines
February 19, 2019 7:15 am
18 local fishing vessels were given Fixed Penalty Notices while two are yet to face court for illegal fishing.
According to the Fisheries Ministry, the two vessel owners have pending cases in court for non-payment of fines.
Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau says they have collected around $52,000 in spot fines from illegal fishing alone.
“Basically the emphasis was on inshore and coastal fisheries and we have collected the data to identify the illegal activities that carried on.”
Koroilavesau says the statistics provided signifies the amount of monitoring and surveillance carried out on Fiji Waters.
With illegal fishing being a major concern, Koroilavesau has sent out a stern warning to all vessel owners to abide by the law.
“They continue to contravene the conditions stipulated in their fishing license they will continue to be prosecuted, they basically understand what is required of them, the conditions are very clear on their fishing license as long as they adhere to that they will have no problem.”
The Ministry has also stated that a lot of written warnings have been issued to fishermen who are first offenders, however, they will face the full brunt of the law if they continue to fish illegally.