WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Oct. 31) - Law enforcement officials in Palau have released an unlicensed Taiwanese fishing vessel carrying banned shark fins because they lacked the evidence to prove it was fishing illegally.

The vessel Yang Szu 232 is licensed to fish in the Marshall Islands but was found near the remote southern islands of Palau, an area close to Indonesia and thousands of kilometres from the Marshalls.

The Yang Szu was escorted back to port pending an investigation.

But public safety director, Hazime Telei, says the vessel was used to carry the load of smaller fishing boats back to port for off-loading and there was no way to prove where the catch had been taken.

Mr Telei says vessels in the region are allowed to cross waters, although it is unclear why a Taiwanese vessel licensed to fish in the Marshalls would be found so far from either country.

November 3, 2003

Radio New Zealand International:


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