Palau Announces Settlement with Taiwan over Shark-Finning Violation
Republic of Palau
Office of the President
Koror, Palau, February 2012
The Palauan government has announced a settlement following the arrest of a vessel that was seized for illegally catching and finning sharks during a joint enforcement operation in December. The operators of the vessel will pay a USD$65,000 civil fine, while the ship involved in the alleged violation of the shark-fishing law, and its captain, will both be banned from fishing in Palauan waters for one year.
“The vessel and its captain were in breach of Palauan law, and both will not be allowed to operate in our waters for one year. This payment will be used to strengthen our ability to monitor our waters for illegal fishing activity, enforce our regulations, protect our fish supplies and the health of our oceans,” said Palau President Johnson Toribiong.
“This judgment should be seen as a deterrent to foreign fishers. The Palau Government is committed to protect the people of Palau as without fish there is no future for our people”
“We are grateful for the help of Greenpeace in patrolling our waters to apprehend this vessel and shining a spotlight on the impacts of illegal fishing in the Pacific.”
Greenpeace and the government of Palau signed a joint agreement in December to both enforce fisheries regulations and bring illegal pirate fishing operations to justice as part of Greenpeace’s “Defending our Pacific” ship expedition.
Between 21 and 46 percent of all fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is thought to be Illegal, unregulated and Unreported (IUU). The plunder of fish from the Pacific is putting the region’s food security and economic prosperity at risk.
Like most Pacific Island countries, Palau must patrol its vast oceanic territories with very limited capacity; it has one patrol boat and more than 604,000 km² of ocean to patrol.
Source: Republic of Palau, via Greenpeace.