Vessel Captains Charged With Illegal Fishing In Palau

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

If found guilty, fines could range from $500,000 - $1,000,000

By L.N. Reklai

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Feb. 15, 2016) – Captains of the two fishing vessels caught fishing illegally within Palau waters early this February, are the first to be charged under the newly enacted law, the Marine Sanctuary Act, for Unlawful Fishing.

Captains Leonardo S. Guineras and Ramel B. Mongaya, have been charged, each with one count of Unlawful Fishing and one count of Unlawful Entry into the Republic by the Office of the Attorney General.

According to the new law, the defendants, if found guilty, could face fines of $500,000 to $1,000,000 for the offense of unlawful fishing within the territorial waters of Palau, or imprisonment for up to two years or both.

According to Officer Mayce Ngirmeriil, the two fishing vessels were detained within the territorial waters of Palau, boarded and evidence was found of active fishing activity.

Crew of 22 was detained and vessels were seized by Palau authorities.

The penalty for offense for Unlawful Entry is for a period not more than 2 years or no more than $500 dollars fine.

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