Coast Guard catches illegal fishermen

POSTED: 03/12/13 11:04 AM

St. Maarten – The Coast Guard caught an illegal fishing boat from Venezuela in the protected waters near Saba on Sunday and prevented that the crew was able to sell its catch on the black market.

The Coast Guard’s Dash-8 patrol plane spotted the vessel. The Saba Bank is protected against fishery in international legislation, but the patrol plane noted that the Venezuelan crew had set out fishing lines. On deck several caught sharks were visible.

The Coast Guard dispatched the patrol vessel Hr. Ms. Friesland to the location to investigate. The boarding team used a fast boat to approach the Venezuelan vessel and went on board. The officers established that the vessel did not have permits to work in the area and informed the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The public prosecutor imposed a $1,500 fine on the fishermen. The Coast Guard confiscated the fishing equipment and the catch.

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