Two Industrial Fishing Vessels, F/V Star Shrimper 3 and 32 have been arrested in Sulima, within the country’s border with Liberia by the Sierra Leone Navy during a robust surveillance operation.
According to the Acting Director of Fisheries, Dr. Mohamed Sesay, the two vessels that are registered with the Republic of Liberia under the Monrovia Fishing Corporation were intercepted on 29th April 2010 for fishing without Sierra Leone’s license, without Sierra Leonean observers, crew and a Sierra Leonean flag. Star Shrimper 3, captained by a Nigerian and had a crew of 13 (9 Nigerians, 3 Liberians and 1 Indian) while Star Shrimper 32 also had a total of 13 crew (9 Nigerians, 2 Liberians and 1 Guinean).
Dr. Sesay also stated that all documents relating to the vessels have been submitted to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources adding that the vessels and crew are currently located at the Maritime Wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Murray Town awaiting further action by the Ministry. Dr Sesay said the arrest was in pursuance of Sub section (2) (3) and (5) of the Fisheries Management and Development Act 1994 and President Koroma’s vision to transform the fishing industry into a viable revenue generating sector. He pointed out that this action would send a strong message to unscrupulous fisher folks that Government has now put in place robust surveillance system aimed at curbing all forms of illegal fishing activities within the county’s territorial waters.
He commended the Sierra Leone Navy for the professionalism they demonstrated in tracking down poachers and pledged the ministry’s commitment to compliment their efforts.
“This latest arrest has brought the total number of arrested vessels to eight” Dr. Sesay concluded.
By A. Max Konneh, Press Officer, M FMR