2 Jun 2003

Hong Kong fishing company could face fines in the Marshalls over shark fishing in protected areas

10:06 am on 2 June 2003

A Hong Kong fishing company operating in the Marshalls been ordered to recall its ships to port and could face fines of up to 200 thousand US dollars.

A government official says the company is facing allegations that it has plundered a unique Pacific marine habitat.

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, the agency in charge of regulating fisheries in the islands, believes it has enough evidence to fine the company, Edgewater Fisheries Incorporated.

The Deputy Director of the MIMRA ,Glen Joseph, said all five Edgewater shark fishing vessels had been called back to port for inspection.

He says Edgewater vessels will not restart fishing operations until the MIMRA board wraps up its annual review of the company's fishing contract and decides whether or not to renew the pact for a third year.

Edgewater manager Jimmy Ng said earlier this month that while Edgewater vessels have been in the vicinity of Bikini Atoll and other protested areas, they were only drifting and not actively fishing.