ANTILLAS REEFER - IMO 8603688
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|fredboels on Mar 16, 2009 09:23 (8 years ago)|
Mozambique Confiscates Namibian-Flagged Vessel
August 11, 2008
Release from: Adam Hartman
The Mozambican Government has announced that it has "taken" the Antillas Reefer, the Namibian-flagged fishing vessel arrested in July in Mozambican waters for alleged illegal fishing.
According to the country's Minister of Fisheries, Cadmiel Muthemba, the vessel will be added to the government's fleet of inspection boats.
He said his government had followed legal processes to acquire the vessel.
"We decided to take the boat because we noted that the government was spending a lot of money in maintaining the fishing vessel since it was caught fishing illegally," Muthenda was reported as saying.
According to him, it was not the first time the Mozambican government had taken ownership of a boat caught fishing illegally, although in other cases they had been auctioned.
It is unknown on what terms the Mozambican government has taken possession of the vessel - whether it bought it from the owners or confiscated and nationalised it.
On July 22, shortly the Antillas Reefer was arrested, Namibia's Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Abraham Iyambo, said his Ministry was still waiting for official communication from Mozambique before taking any action on the Antillas Reefer.
He was speaking at a press conference in Windhoek where it was announced that the Paloma V, another Namibian-flagged vessel implicated in illegal fishing in New Zealand in May, had been de-registered as a Namibian fishing vessel.
Yesterday, the Director of Fishing Operations in the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries, Peter Amutenya, told The Namibian that he was not aware of the latest development regarding Mozambique's acquisition of the Antillas Reefer.
Amutenya is also the Chairman of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
"I'm not sure what procedures they followed - whether they actually purchased the vessel.
I have to find clarity in the matter," he said.
When the Antillas Reefer was inspected in Maputo on July 5, 43 tonnes of sharks, four tonnes of shark fin, 1,8 tonnes of shark tail, 11,3 tonnes of shark liver, and 20 tonnes of shark oil were allegedly found on board.
The total value of the catch was estimated at N$38 million.
Illegal equipment was allegedly also found.
The vessel was using long lines, with anchors and weights that could keep the lines at depths of up to two kilometres, allowing the vessel to catch deep-sea sharks.
Mozambique fined the ship's owner N$34 million and confiscated the ship and everything on board.
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