Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Poachers back in court

Published:Friday | March 22, 2019 | 12:31 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer

The Fisheries Division will be pressing for the forfeiture of the two boats caught fishing illegally in Jamaican waters on March 2, to the Crown, when the case against 54 fishermen from the Dominican Republic continues in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today. Their captain, first mate and chief engineer are also before the court.

When the case was first mentioned last Friday, the three top officers, who were charged with using a vessel as a processing plant without the permission of the minister, and operating a motor vessel within Jamaican territorial waters without a licence, were each fined $40,000 after pleading guilty to some charges.

Officers from the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries spent three days sorting, counting, measuring and weighing the 55,769lb of assorted seafood on board the two boats, with a final tally of:

• 34,531.9lb of conch.

• 10,285.4lb of lobster, inclusive of 60lb of berried (egg-bearing) and 332.5lb undersized.

• 10,347.4lb of assorted fin fish, including a 200lb blue marlin, the head of which weighed 17lb.

• 97.9lb of crab.

• 61.6lb of octopus.

• 445lb of a mixture of crab and fish.

Meanwhile, the other 54 fishermen have been charged with:

• Possession of berried lobsters.

• Possession of undersized lobsters.

• Possession of conch in closed season.

• Fishing without a licence.

• Fishing without identification.