US$1.5m fine for errant vessel in Liberia

Liberia’s Defense Ministry has recommended a fine of about US$1.5 million to be imposed on a vessel for engaging in illegal fishing within Liberia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The ministry said in a dispatch that this hefty fine will serve “as a measure of deterring poachers who are engaged in illegal activities” within Liberia’s territorial waters.

The Defence ministry said the Liberia Coast Guard had interdicted for illegal and unreported fishing, a fishing trawler, DZINTARS less than 12 nautical miles from Liberia’s coastline.

The vessel reportedly crossed over into Liberian territorial waters on September 28, the dispatch said.

It said upon inspection, the Coast Guard found the vessel to be in multiple violations, including shutting down its Automatic Identification System (AIS), four nautical miles from the border with Sierra Leone.

The Defence ministry also noted that the vessel lacked landing declaration, and violated Liberia’s Catch On Entry (COE) regulations, among others.

The ministry said the vessel had 321 thousand kilograms of fish on board, and is chargeable under Liberian Laws for contravention of the Fisheries Regulations and Tax and Customs Laws of the country.