Jamaican fishers face court today
Sixteen of the 24 Jamaican fishermen held by the Jamaica Defence Coast Guard aboard a disabled fishing vessel south of the Pedro Cays on April 5 are slated to return to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court today to answer to charges of breaches of the Fishing Industry Act.
The Jamaicans were detained during a routine patrol of the area by the HMJS Cornwall, a coast guard offshore patrol vessel responding to a distress call for the boat which was reportedly experiencing mechanical problems.
Upon boarding the boat to carry out repairs and inspection, the coast guard crew found more than 5,400 pounds of fish. None of the crew members was in possession of a fishing licence.
For this reason, they were detained and the boat seized and escorted back to the coast guard base, where the men were charged by the maritime police.
During their first court appearance on April 10, the 16 pleaded not guilty to the various breaches and their case adjourned to today.