The Palau government has offered the owner of the Philippine fish carrier vessel apprehended last year in Palau waters to pay a fine of $100,000 to settle the case.
Vice President Raynold Oilouch however said the owner of the vessel have not accepted the deal.
Palau’s marine law officers have seized Gene 8 in December. Palau’s patrol boat PSS Remeliik was conducting its marine surveillance when it found the vessel 45 miles northwest of Helen Reef.
The Gene No.8 was noticed to be moored to a fishing aggregation device, after which the marine officers boarded the vessel for an inspection.
.Five Filipino crewmembers were detained at the marine law office as a result of the seizure. However three Filipino fishermen remained in Palau as the other crewmembers were sent back home aboard another fishing vessel from the Philippines apprehended earlier this year.
Gene 8 owner has retained a lawyer in Palau to resolve the case, however the case since December is still pending in court but negotiation is ongoing to settle the case.
“While the case is going through the court, there has been negotiation with the owner to find ways to settle the case. The settlement has not gone through. The government has made an offer to the owner to pay $100,000 to release the vessel and the remaining fishermen here,” Oilouch said.
Palau illegal fishing law imposes a minimum fine of $US 500,000. (B. Carreon) [/restrict]