17 Jan 2007

American Samoa fishing boat wrongfully arrested by Samoan patrol boat

9:43 am on 17 January 2007

The owners of an American Samoa-registered fishing boat that was briefly arrested by the Samoan government patrol boat last Friday, will not take any action against the Samoan government in connection with the incident.

The US State department interceded on behalf of the owners, Feliciano Fisheries to have the boat released with all of its catch.

Mrs Rasela Feliciano says the crew was able to retrieve its fishing lines so there will be no attempt to recover any costs from the Samoa Government.

The Samoa patrol boat believed the vessel, the Rival, was fishing within Samoa's exclusive economic zone.

However the captain used data from the vessel's Global Positioning System instrument to prove that the boat was well within territorial waters.

The Rival resumed fishing immediately after it was released by the Samoan authorities