Blue Boats

New Caledonia jails Vietnamese poachers

Their boats were intercepted by the French navy off Belep last week and escorted to Noumea.

The captains were immediately tried and imprisoned while the 30 crew would be deported to Vietnam.

The boats were found to have beche-de-mer on board as well as shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US700 a kilogramme.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

Earlier this year, New Caledonia and other areas in Melanesia were targetted by dozens of Vietnamese blue boats.




Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

Shark finning discovered in New Caledonia

Last week, the French navy intercepted two blue boats off Belep and found that they had beche-de-mer on board.

Now television reports say shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US 700 a kilogramme, have also been found on the vessels.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

The French High Commission says the boats and their 30 crew are being towed to Noumea.

Earlier this year there were multiple arrests in New Caledonia where French naval surveillance spotted dozens of boats in operation.

French Navy intercepts two more blue boats

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, the boats, which are believed to be from Vietnam, were caught near the island of Belep on Thursday morning, with beche-de-mer on board.

The French High Commission has told the news site that the boats and their 30 crew are being towed to Noumea.

Earlier this year there were multiple arrests in New Caledonia where French naval surveillance spotted dozens of boats in operation.

Several Vietnamese captains caught in New Caledonia are serving jail sentences while a large number of sailors have been deported.

Vietnamese Blue boat captains fined US$1.4 million

Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer imposed the fine in default of four years imprisonment to Captains Do Van Va, Vo Van Vi and Nguyen Nguyen last Friday.

The court said if the captains failed to pay the fines within 30 days they will serve four years in prison.

Solomon Star reports a two year imprisonment term was also imposed to run concurrently with the in default sentence.

The time the three captains spent in custody was also taken into account.

This fine is for charges of;

There are more blue boats out there’: Solomons Fisheries Minister

Speaking at an event for World Tuna Day at the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara, John Maneniaru said he “hated blue boats” but there was only so much he could do.
He said all authorities needed to work together to stop them.
“As you are all aware, we are dealing with the Blue Boats, we have three, and there are more in the ocean, and in our area, I know,” Maneniaru said.

New Caledonia catches more Vietnamese poachers

According to the public broadcaster, a French surveillance aircraft spotted two boats near Ouvea after which a naval vessel intercepted them to escort them to Noumea.

Reports said a Vietnamese fisherman, who was in a serious condition after a suspected diving accident, was immediately taken off and flown by helicopter to hospital.

Two other blue boats were seen near Belep and the navy succeeded in catching one of them.

A week earlier, French surveillance teams helped Solomon Islands catch three blue boats fishing illegally.

Vietnamese fishing boats labelled 'reef robbers'

This call came after the latest arrest, on Sunday, of three of the vessels in Solomon Islands southernmost Rennell and Bellona province.

FFA director general James Movick said the operation to capture the boats was a great example of regional and multi-agency co-operation involving local communities and authorities with aerial support provided by the French.

The boats and their 43 crew arrived in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara on Tuesday morning where police and fisheries officers are conducting an investigation into their activities.

Pacific surveillance operation picks up Illegal fishers

Nine Pacific countries ran Operation Rai Balang 2017 which co-ordinated out of the Forum Fisheries Agency surveillance centre in Solomon Islands.

Operation Rai Balang 2017 covered 14.7 million square km and saw a total of 918 detections of fisheries vessels, 93 aircraft sightings, and 50 boardings 30 of them at sea.

Of the seven arrests five recorded in Vanuatu were long liners flagged to China with minor infringements.

In FSM, a purse seiner flagged to China allegedly had its vessel monitoring system turned off at the time of its inspection.

Vietnamese fishermen deported from New Caledonia

The territory's daily newspaper says nine officers accompanied the men on scheduled flights to Vietnam, with the French state paying their fares.

The fishermen were caught along with the crew of two other blue boats in the north of the territory.

The captains of the three vessels were jailed for illegally fishing in New Caledonia's waters but two vessels fled from Noumea.

Because of a break-down of the only naval vessel, the French Navy failed to pursue the two boats.

Last week, another blue boat was intercepted and its crew taken to Noumea.