2 Sep 2009

Taiwan fishing boat seized in US economic zone off CNMI

1:25 pm on 2 September 2009

A Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel has been seized by the US Coast Guard for suspected fisheries violations within the US exclusive economic zone.

The Coast Guard says the crew of the Te Hung Fa were illegally fishing for sharks, tuna and other types of fish with long line gear deployed within the zone surrounding the Northern Marianas Islands, about 650 kilometres north-northwest of Guam.

The 22-meter, 56-tonne vessel was escorted to the port of Saipan last weekend.

Its owners could face penalties of up to 140,000 US dollars per violation of fishing legislation and full forfeiture of the vessel and its catch.