2 Dec 2004

French release seized Taiwanese fishing boat

4:46 pm on 2 December 2004

A Taiwanese fishing vessel which was seized by the French Navy near the New Caledonia - Vanuatu border last week, has been released.

The French Navy says the boat, which was based in Fiji, was fishing illegally in New Caledonia waters and was escorted to the capital, Noumea.

Fiji Foreign Affairs says the boat was in Vanuatu waters, which they say has been confirmed by the Forum Fisheries Agency.

But Captain Eric Abadie, who seized the vessel, says he was using French charts, and he's sure that the boat was illegally fishing.

"If he has the wrong charts it can be taken account but for me there is no doubt about that, he was on the French side."

Captain Abadie says the vessel was released yesterday because of the skipper's co-operative attitude.