Vietnamese blue boats

Solomons plan for boat destruction

The Solomon Star reports the boat is one of three boats that were captured early last year at Rennel's Indispensable reef by the Maritime Police for illegal fishing.

The Supervising Police Commissioner said the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource was responsible for the destruction of the boat and police would assist.

The High Court ruled the three boats be destroyed and two were controversially burned at a passage near Gela, in December.

Solomon Islands government reclaims blue boats

Fisheries Acting Permanent Secretary Feral Lasi confirmed to the Solomon Star on Wednesday the blue boats are now under government custody.

“….yes the boats are now taken back from Iona Firi after they failed to meet the requirements in the MoU,” Lasi said.

“State will now decide for its destruction site,” he added.

He further revealed that since last week, they consulted Taroniara shipyard group for their possible rate to dispose off the boats.

‘Vietnamese Blue Boats’ to be destroyed soon

The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources last Friday to destroy the vessels within four weeks of the signing.

Fisheriey Director Edward Honiwala and representative of Iona Firi Properties Limited, Wale Tobata

Mr Honiwala said the decision to destroy the boats is in line with the High Court’s decision because the boats have failed to pass their sea worthiness examination as confirmed by the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration.

Blue boats crews’ fine paid

This was confirmed in court on Monday by Immigration Officer Chris Akosawa who appeared on behalf of the matter.
He said the total fine of USD$4,300 had been transferred to the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) account through the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI).
Akosawa asked the court for an extension of the detention order for another 14 days to allow the crew members to wait for their flights back to Vietnam.
The first four crews will leave the country today whilst the second batch of nine crews will leave on Friday.

Pacific leaders urged to pressure Vietnam on poaching issue

This comes after reports that Vietnam has been receptive to complaints from Australia about the poachers while being dismissive of the complaints from Pacific countries.

Government officials of affected countries, (including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands), were hosted in Australia this week by the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Community to try and come up with a consolidated regional approach to the poaching.

Blue boats crew members fined in Solomons

The crew and the boats were detained last month after they were caught fishing illegally in Rennel and Bellona.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reported that the 40 pleaded guilty to entering the country illegally, but they told the chief Magistrate John Numapo, they did not realise they were breaking the law.

Last week, the boats' owners were fined $US1.59 million each.

The fisheries minister, John Maneniaru, said if the owners did not pay the boats would be destroyed.


Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

Vietnamese blue boat sinks in New Caledonia

The boat was seized earlier this month after being caught fishing illegally for beche de mer in the territory's north.

The intercepted boat was escorted to Noumea where it sank in port following a leak.

The authorities managed to contain a minor fuel spillage.


Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

Vietnamese boats fined in Solomons could be destroyed

The three boats and their 43 crew were caught last month in Rennell and Bellona province and brought to the capital Honiara for investigation.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that the fisheries minister John Maneniaru revealed in parliament that after consultations with the Director of Public Prosecution and the Attorney General the fishermen would be fined $US1.59 million per boat.

Mr Maneniaru said if the owners fail to pay up, the boats will be destroyed and further action taken against their crew.

Solomons Islands spends $18,000 a day to detain Vietnamese fishermen

A source from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force told the Solomon Star that the government bore the substantial cost for the operation since last week.

“We roughly estimate that it cost the government SBD 18,000 (aprox USD 2300) to house the Vietnamese,” the source, who deals directly with logistical side of the operation, said.

The source said that includes the detainees’ three meals per day.

“You multiply that amount with the number of days they are being kept at the Rove Police Club and you will come up with the overall projected cost,” the source said.