19 Dec 2007

Philippine-registered fishing boat caught in Palau waters

11:31 am on 19 December 2007

The captain and 21 crew members from a Philippine-registered fishing boat, KM Maranatha, have been taken into custody after their vessel ran aground on a reef in Palau.

The Pacific Magazine reports the crew were arrested as the Maranatha is not registered to fish in Palau waters.

A Palau patrol boat found the 60 foot fishing vessel sitting atop the reef and brought the 21 crewmembers back to Koror.

Palau officials also discovered a catch in the hold.

The crew are being held at the Divion of Marine Law Enforcement's facilities.

Government agencies will now inspect Helen's Reef to determine the extent of damage done by the alleged illegal fishing vessel.