$4 million fine for illegally fishing in protected area

A Marshall Islands-flagged Taiwanese purse seiner has been penalised to pay US$4 million in fines for illegally fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA).

The Kiribati Fisheries Administrative Penalty Committee imposed the fine for fishing illegally in Kiribati waters.

The vessel is owned by a Taiwanese businessman based in the Marshall Islands.

The Kiribati Police Maritime Unit Superintendent Officer Commanding John Mote told Radio Kiribati News the vessel was fined after being spotted fishing within PIPA waters in 2015 but has since managed to escape arrest.

The vessel was finally apprehended by Kiribati authorities a few weeks ago.

Mote said the captain and crew of the vessel are now under police custody awaiting payment of their fines before being released...