A Koo’s fishing vessel was arrested late last month in Kiribati for a fishing violation that occurred in 2015 and is now being held until the Majuro-based company pays a $4 million fine — a development that surprised Koo’s, which said it settled the violation through the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA).
“We made a settlement with MIMRA and our assumption was this resolved it,” said Koo’s Majuro Manager Eugene Muller Wednesday. After the settlement, the vessel was allowed to return to fishing. All of the Koo’s purse seiners have a regional license to fish in all Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) waters.
Koo’s 108 violated Kiribati law by fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in 2015. “We fired the captain and fishing master (of the vessel) immediately following the incident,” Muller said.
He said he was surprised when Kiribati Sea Patrol detained the vessel recently.
Radio New Zealand, in a story earlier this week, said the Kiribati Fisheries Administrative Penalty Committee set the fine at $4 million.
Muller said MIMRA officials are now talking to their Kiribati counterparts to resolve the situation.
Read more about this in the June 9, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.