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Settlement Reached To Return Vietnamese Fishermen From Palau
83 accused of illegal fishing to forfeit four boats, fishing gear
By Jose Rodriguez T. Senase
KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 5, 2014) – A settlement has been reached regarding some 83 fishermen from Vietnam who are in the custody of the Palau Government after they were caught in separate incidents while illegally fishing in waters of this island nation.
President Remengesau, in his weekly press conference at the President’s Satellite Office in Meyuns on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 said that it was agreed that the Vietnamese will be sent home using one of their boats.
The President said the Vietnamese will be provided with food and enough fuel for a one-way trip to ensure that they will be back to their home country.
The President said that the Palau Government through Minister of State Billy Kuartei earlier communicated with the Vietnamese Government regarding the plight of the fishermen.
The Palau Government has requested the Vietnam Government to at least send a translator who will act as a go-between the Palau authorities and the fishermen.
"The Vietnamese Government washed its hands off this by saying that the fishermen caught in Palau are just some of many similar cases they are dealing with," he said.
The Vietnamese were apprehended by Palau authorizes in separate occasions which occurred on November 5, 2014 and November 7, 2014.
In the first incident, three boats with 38 crew were captured off Velasco Reef, Kayangel State on Nov. 5.
Two days later, another three boats with 43 crew were apprehended off Ngeruangel Marine Reserve in Kayangel State. Only two of three boats were successfully escorted to the Marine Law Dock in Malakal after one of the boats burned while under escort.
The fishermen were housed in their own boats while in Palau.
The other four boats and the fishing gear captured by authorities will be forfeited in favor of the Palau Government.