PHILIPPINE VESSEL CAUGHT ILLEGALLY FISHING IN PALAU

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 18) - The captain and 21 crew members from a Philippine-registered fishing boat, KM Maranatha, have been taken into custody after their vessel ran aground on a reef in Palau.

The Pacific Magazine reports the crewmembers were arrested as the Maranatha is not registered to fish in Palau waters.

A Palau patrol boat found the 60 foot fishing vessel sitting atop the reef and brought the 21 crewmembers back to Koror.

Palau officials also discovered a catch in the hold.

The crewmembers are being held at the Division of Marine Law Enforcement’s facilities.

Government agencies will now inspect Helen’s Reef to determine the extent of damage done by the alleged illegal fishing vessel.

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