Monday, February 08, 2010

State warns Fish Thieves

Sai's Comments:

- I've always argued this is a far better use of the currently bloated military personnel in Fiji that could be deployed as customs and border patrol officers. It will be a far better use of the human resources languishing at the army barracks and generating minimal productivity to the nation except for carrying out coups, violating human rights, suppressing freedom, and causing political and economic instability.

-Patrolling Fiji's economic zones will yield much more return to the tax payer of the country than the ever increasing number of security guarding the illegal PM and his Ministers for sure.

-The sooner a democratic government returns to power in Fiji to implement the "Defense White Paper" that called for the reduction in the size and role of the military, the better it would be for Fiji and its people.

by Mereseini Marau

Fiji Times - Monday, February 08, 2010

THE State -- concerned with the millions of dollars it loses to illegal fishing -- is warning all foreign vessels that they will be brought to justice if they are caught fishing illegally in Fiji's Economic Exclusive Zone.

And they risk losing their vessel and their catch.

Director of Public Prosecution Ratu Aca Rayawa said Fiji could gain much more if her EEZ was policed more effectively.

He said there were a number of foreign vessels that have fished illegally -- and undetected -- on a daily basis on the outskirts of Fiji's EEZ.

"They just come, fish and go. They breach the laws right on the outskirts of the EEZ," he said.

Ratu Aca said the authorities were doing their best to curb that multi-million dollar illegal operation.

He commended the Fiji Navy for their assistance in policing the EEZ.

He said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was working closely with the Fiji Navy to arrest all the foreign vessels that were fishing illegally in Fiji waters.

"We will ensure that all foreign vessels don't engage in this.

Ratu Aca cited a case in which a foreign vessel master, Lee I. Lang, was convicted by the High Court last Friday.

The case, which was first reported in 2007, finally went on a three-day trial last week.

The assessors unanimously found Lang guilty on two counts of fishing within Fiji's EEZ in breach of the Marine Spaces Act Cap 158A section 16.

The State had filed its submission in court for the forfeiture of the fishing vessel valued at $164,000 and the proceeds of the catch on board which totalled $108,642. The forfeiture hearing will be held on Wednesday, while the ruling on the forfeiture and sentence for Lang will be delivered on Friday.


Keep The Faith said...

Unfortunately Sai it's the same ol case of "who watches the watchers".

The biggest fish thief is right up there among Bainimarama's inner circle....Roko Ului Mara -- just ask the islanders and ex-Navy divers who he has been approaching.

Sai Lealea said...

Keep the Faith,

Ok that is really sad news. Pray pass me some more info on this as the perpetrators must be uncovered for the real thieves they are as you said. I will ask around as well. Vinaka.