Fishermen fined over illegal harvesting

The National,Monday July 4th, 2016

A group of 16 Vietnamese fishermen arrested in Milne Bay for illegally harvesting beche-der-mer were convicted by the Alotau District Court on Friday and ordered to pay fines or face imprisonment.
According to National Fisheries Authority monitoring control and surveillance manager Gisa Komangin, the boat captain Dinh Van Tam was ordered to pay K20,000 for each of the four charges against him or serve two years in prison.
The charges included fishing in PNG waters without a licence, engaging in harvesting beche-der-mer during a ban period, possessing beche-der-mer products and engaging his crew in the harvest.
Fourteen crew members, who were charged with illegally harvesting beche-der-mer during the ban, were also ordered to pay K10,000 each or face 16 months in prison.
An underaged member was ordered to pay K5000 or face 12 months behind bars.
The fishermen were charged under the Fisheries Management Act.
Komangin said the court ordered that the boat and the beche-der-mer be forfeited to the State.