TARAWA, 01 MAY 2020 (RADIO KIRIBATI) —The Office of the Attorney General has said the fishing vessel Winfar No. 636 which is currently detained in Kiribati cannot leave the country, as investigations over the death of an I-Kiribati observer who worked onboard the vessel still continues.

A report from the AG’s Office said the company has offered to pay security for its vessel to leave Kiribati but the office said the offer was rejected by concerned authorities working on the case.

Eritara Aati Kaierua was found dead aboard the Win Far No. 636, which is flagged to Taiwan, as the vessel was enroute to the Tarawa port of Kiribati, according to the initial notice from Taiwan sent to members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the Kiribati observer programme, and multiple Taiwanese officials in early March.

Kaierua was 40 years old and leaves behind a wife and four children between the ages of 1 and 11.

The Association of Professional Observers has been able to piece together some information and is communicating with Kaierua’s family and Kiribati investigators to try to confirm details about Kaierua’s death and the investigation. He appears to have died from a blow to the back of the head.

“In general, I think the family is not really satisfied with the information they’re getting from the authorities,” Association of Professional Observers President Liz Mitchell told SeafoodSource. “It’s really important for these observer programs to fully inform the family members of how their loved one died.”

Kiribati Police Commissioner Ioeru Tokantetaake confirmed that his agency is investigating Kaierua’s death, but said he can only release information after the investigation comes to an end. Mitchell said that the Kiribati police are treating the investigation as a murder investigation…..PACNEWS