19 Sep 2006

Marshalls fishing boat arrested by US officials

8:26 am on 19 September 2006

A Marshall Islands fishing vessel has been arrested by the US Coast Guard for fishing illegally within the U.S. 200-mile exclusive economic zone surrounding Howland and Baker islands in the central

The vessel, which was arrested on Saturday, is being escorted to Guam to face federal charges.

A Majuro-based fishing company official says however, that he hopes to

secure the release of the vessel through negotiations with U.S. officials before

it arrives at Guam.

Koo¹s Fishing Company manager, Eugene Muller, says he disputes

whether the vessel was actually inside the zone boundary

He believes that through negotiations, the company can retain both the catch ‹ valued at about 350,000 US dollars and the boat, both of which could be confiscated under U.S. law.