Saturday, February 27, 2021

Gambian Authorities Release Vessel After Crew Paid Fine of D500, 000

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By Mustapha Jallow

Dr. Bamba A.M Banja, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Fisheries, has on Tuesday told Foroyaa that a vessel that was intercepted by the Navy after it was found fishing in a prohibitted zone has been released from custody after the crew on board paid a fine of D500, 000 to the State.

He said: “The vessel was fine and they paid the fine. They are gone.’’

According to Fisheries PS, the decision to fine and release the boat was made by a multi-sectoral committee set up by government to settle disputes of this nature out of court. He said the Committee met last week and imposed a fine of D500,000 on the vessel.

Army spokesperson Major Lamin K Sanyang confirmed the release of the vessel “SARA” on 30th April 2020. The vessel was under the custody of the Navy.

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It could be recalled that the foreign vessel was intercepted by the Navy as sea-patrols continued in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The Gambian navy on 18th April 2020, intercepted and brought to anchor a fishing vessel.

“The fishing vessel (SARA) was caught about five (5) Nautical miles from shore – around Bijols Island,’’ army spokesperson said.

He added the vessel was stopped and Navy personnel boarded it for inspection. He continued the boarding team led by Sub-Lieutenant Abdoulie Njie confirmed the validity of the vessel’s fishing license and inspected the fishing net. He said the Navy discovered the vessel was fishing in a prohibited zone.

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