15 Sep 2003

The HIgh Court in Suva orders a fishing vessel be forfeited to the state

7:15 am on 15 September 2003

The High Court in Suva has ordered that a fishing vessel and its equipment be forfeited to the state after the captain was convicted of illegal fishing in Fiji waters.

The Fiji Times reports that the captain of the Sun 5 was fined twelve hundred US dollars by the magistrates court in June for fishing without a licence on ten separate occasions.

The state appealed against that decision saying that the maigstrate had erred in not ordering the forfeiture of the vessel.

Justice Nazhat Shameem ruled that the deliberate flouting of the law and the persistent nature of the offence must lead to the forfeiture of the vessel and ordered accordingly.

She said the owners of the vessel had benefitted commercially from the illegal fishing activity and the value of the catches was also relevant