By: Mustapha Jallow
Gambian authorities on Tuesday said they will penalize six vessels intercepted by the Navy on Christmas day.
Permanent Secretary ministry of fisheries Dr Bamba AM Banja told Foroyaa: “ We arrested them and they will be penalised. The fines will be paid into the Fisheries development fund. Fisheries, government (central government) and the Navy will benefit from these fines.’’
He added: “If you are a delinquent offender, the fines are usually very hefty. Sometimes we will even fine up to D1,000,000 or D1,750,000 depending on the characteristics of the boat as well as in terms of tonnage. There are many things we consider before we come up with a fine.”
According to Banja, all the vessels that were intercepted by the Gambia Navy were issued with license by the government and allowed to fish in the country’s territorial waters, but they failed to comply with conditions of their license.
Banja said: ““The victory-vessels (name of the vessels) were intercepted within the 5 nautical miles’ zone from the shore position because they were allowed to fish from 7 nautical miles. Likewise, Qunlong vessel was also found fishing in a wrong-zone.’’
He added that an industrial vessel owned by Qunlong Fishing Enterprise, a Chinese business investment, was also intercepted by the Navy.
Qunlong was intercepted for the second time for fishing in a restricted zone, according to Dr. Banja.
GAF spokesperson Major Lamin K. Sanyang said their personnel intercepted these 5 vessels on Christmas day. He was however quick to add that the vessel owned by Qunlong was intercepted on 28th December 2019.