Forty crewmembers of foreign fishing vessels seized in Palau waters were sent home yesterday by the Ministry of Justice.
Vice President and Justice Minister Raynold Oilouch said that as of 2 p.m. yesterday 40 of the fishermen were repatriated through the fishing vessel caught in Palau waters by PSS Remeliik last weekend. [restrict]
In total forty-one men were sent home. One fisherman who was found lost at sea last month was also included with foreign nationals to be brought home by the fishing vessel, Master Rustin.
Twenty-two of the forty fishermen sent home have been detained since last year in Palau for alleged illegal fishing.
Oilouch however said that it would benefit both Palau and the fishermen if they are allowed to be sent back home.
The Palau marine law enforcers seized the fishing vessel from the Philippines early Saturday morning.
The vessel was apprehended in the waters between Sonsorol and Angaur state, and escorted to Koror where it arrived Sunday morning.
Oilouch said no charges will be filed against the eight-crew members of the fishing vessel, the fishermen however have to give up their catch which was given away to the residents Sunday and Monday.
The Remeliik also apprehended a purse seiner during the weekend and it had 19 crewmembers. [/restrict]