18 Dec 2003

New Caledonian prosecutors seek heavy penalties against illegal fishing vessel captain

11:46 am on 18 December 2003

Prosecutors in New Caledonia have demanded that the captain of a Taiwanese fishing boat be fined more than two million US dollars and jailed for 18 months for a range of offences committed last month.

The captain, Lin Ven Chang, was intercepted fishing illegally in New Caledonian waters after allegedly attempting to escape and remove identity signs.

The ship, the Shang Sheng, with 14 crew on board was escorted to Noumea by the navy and has been under police surveillance in the port of Noumea since.

In its attempt to avoid capture the ship also rammed and damaged a New Caledonian fishing boat.

A sentence is expected to be delivered on January the 6th.