New Caledonia To Help Vanuatu With Detained Fishing Boat

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Kanak leaders would be asked to speak with French authorities

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 24, 2013) – Vanuatu's Director for Foreign Affairs says Kanak Leaders in New Caledonia have offered to approach French authorities on behalf of Vanuatu over the illegal arrest of the Chinese fishing boat Hu Yu 911 by the French Navy on October 20 this year.

The Captain of the fishing boat was prosecuted in Noumea and found guilty of trespassing and fishing illegally in French maritime waters and fined US$5.5 million, and his catch and fishing boat confiscated by the French.

However Yvon Basil says his Office is going to ask the Kanak Leaders to speak to the French authorities over the issue.

The Vanuatu Government insists that the Chinese fishing boat was fishing in Vanuatu waters when it was illegally arrested by the French Navy.

The Maritime Boundary Coordinator Tony Tevi says the French Navy acted on a new French boundary line which the French authorities drew without the courtesy of discussing it with Vanuatu.

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