Vietnam pledges protection for fishermen caught in Solomon Islands

By VnExpress   March 30, 2017 | 06:57 pm PT
Forty three Vietnamese were reportedly arrested for illegal fishing in Solomon Islands waters.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry is verifying reports which said 43 Vietnamese have been arrested for illegal fishing in the Solomon Islands, vowing to give its citizens due protection, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The Vietnam embassy in Australia, also in charge of affairs in the island nation, is working with the local authorities for clarifications, the ministry's spokesman Le Hai Binh told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday in Hanoi.

Several media reports said three Vietnamese boats were caught fishing illegally off a reef system about 50 kilometers (27 nautical miles) south of Rennell Island on Sunday.

Solomon Star daily cited a police statement as saying the police received tip-offs from locals and cooperated with fisheries officers to capture the three boats late Sunday evening. It said sea cucumber was found together with fish in the freezers aboard.

Another boat managed to get away due to “poor visibility and distance,” the newspaper said.

Early this month 50 Vietnamese were fined $6,300-47,000 each for illegally harvesting sea cucumber in Papua New Guinea. They will be put in jail for four years with hard labor if failing to pay the money.

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