2 Mar 2010

Alleged illegal fishing vessels in Solomons charged again

10:08 pm on 2 March 2010

The Transnational crime unit in the Solomon Islands police force has charged the captains of two foreign fishing boats for allegedly fishing illegally in the country's waters.

The laying of charges against the captains relates to fishing and storing their fishing gear in their long-line fishing ships without a valid foreign fishing vessel license.

After being detained since January, the vessels were released last month, following claims by the Fisheries Minister Nolen Leni that they had been wrongly charged.

This reportedly came after 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.

Mr Leni last week said that the government was at fault and that an investigation into the licensing process would proceed.