Palau Intercepts, Seizes Two Vietnamese Fishing Boats

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

Country is serious about implementing marine laws

By L. N. Reklai

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, April 26, 2016) – After two weeks of surveillance, Remeliik intercepted and seized two (2) Vietnamese fishing boats. The vessels were spotted by PMA airplane that was working with the Marine Law on surveillance. The vessels were brought to port last week with their crew.

"Palau is doing very well in training on how to enforce the Marine Sanctuary Law. We have a strong law, good marine coordination and excellent support and coordination with the AGO and the court system. While this is a gradual process that will require time to improve, there is excellent visible progress," stated Attorney General Bradley on the enforcement of the Marine Sanctuary Law.

Since February, two (2) separate seizures of fishing vessels from the Philippines have been made. Charges on counts of Illegal Fishing under the Marine Sanctuary Law were filed against the captains of these boats.

Last week, Palau Supreme Court sentenced the two captains of the first boat seizure incident to 60 days in jail and forfeiture of their vessels and equipment.

Last year, to send the message about Palau’s seriousness in implement its marine laws, burned two Vietnamese fishing boats in a publicly recorded event and was broadcasted worldwide.

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