25 Feb 2010

Solomons releases vessels, admits error over detention

6:05 pm on 25 February 2010

Two foreign fishing boats detained for alleged illegal fishing in Solomon Islands waters have been released.

The Solomon Star newspaper says the vessels' agents came forward with documents showing the boats had prior approval to fish but that there had been a delay in processing the licenses.

The Fisheries Minister, Nollen Leni, admitted that the government was at fault.

He says the government is lucky the vessels haven't charged it for the fishing days lost because of their detention for more than three weeks.

The minister says he will be conducting an internal investigation into the matter which revealed a serious flaw in the licensing process.