By Mustapha Jallow
Major Lamin K. Sanyang, the army spokesperson has on Wednesday, confirmed to Foroyaa that the Gambian Navy and Sea Shepherd have on the 14th January 2020 intercepted another trawler found fishing within Gambian territorial waters.
Atlantide 1 (name of the trawler), was intercepted in a wrong zone, following a joint operation by personnel of the navy and Sea Shepherd crew, according to army spokesperson.
“The trawler was intercepted jointly with Sea Shepherd, and is under navy custody,’’ he added.
In another development on the recent intercepted six vessels, Dr. Bamba A.M Banja, the Permanent Secretary at the department of Fisheries said decision was taken by his ministry and the stakeholders and the vessels were released this week.
He remarked, “The out of court committee met and decision was reached and the boats were fined. The boats were charged and fined, so they paid and were released from custody. And I understand that the victory-vessels have paid the fine.’’
He added that Qunlong Fishing Enterprise, a Chinese business investment, an industrial vessel was also fined.
But the army spokesperson said: “We are yet to receive information or instruction to release the six (6) vessels. Until we get that instruction and information we cannot act.’’
He added that the 6 vessels, including the trawler are still under navy custody in Banjul.
Gambian authorities on Christmas day intercepted six foreign vessels found fishing in a prohibited area in the internal waters of The Gambia between Nuimi Jinack and Barra.
The five victory semi-industrial vessels jointly owned by Gambians and Chinese nationals were intercepted within 5 nautical miles’ zone from the shore position, the Fisheries PS confirmed on 7th January 2020.