Monday, 20 December 2010 10:46 AM

Government Reduces Fine on Taiwanese Fishing Boat

The government has reduced a SBD$2.5 million dollars fine imposed on a Taiwanese fishing boat found guilty of fishing illegally in the country's waters.

Prime Minister Danny Philip told a media conference that Cabinet Ministers were yesterday briefed on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Mr Philip said Cabinet reduced the fine from SBD$2.5 million dollars to SBD$1 million dollars.

He said that the fine was reduced considering a similar case during which two vessels were arrested for fishing inside Solomon Islands 200 miles fishing zone without a valid fishing license.

Mr Philip said the Taiwanese fishing boat had a valid fishing license but strong currents had caused the vessels nets to drift into Solomon Islands 30 miles waters when the vessel was arrested.

Although this may not have been an intentional case of illegal fishing, the Ministry of Fisheries says that it is always important that all stakeholders "work hard to ensure that we maximize gains from this multimillion dollar industry."

"We have one of the few remaining stocks of big eye and yellowfin, so we must send the right signals to would be poachers that such actions are unacceptable," said the spokesperson.

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