The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has ordered the release of a French fishing vessel, STERENN following the payment of $703,970 fine levied on it in respect of various infractions for which it was arrested. According to a report prepared by the Fisheries Protection Officer and Head of the Boarding Team, Victor Kargbo, the vessel was arrested on the22rd of March, 2012 during a joint surveillance operation by officials of the fisheries ministry, Sierra Leone Navy, Police and the US Coastal Guards who provided the Patrol Vessel, US Simpson.

The report stated that the French vessel was arrested for failing to clearly display its name and call sign on both sides contrary to section 42 (1 and 2) of the Fisheries and Management Act 1994. The report also stated that the vessel failed to supply the ministry of fisheries with information regarding its entry into Sierra Leone waters to fish contrary to section 11(9) of the Fisheries Act and also failed to send daily catch report contrary to section 68 (2e)of the Fisheries Act and as stated in the fishing license.

Meanwhile, the minister of fisheries, Dr. Soccoh Kabia has received an attestation from the French Charge d’ affairs certifying that the said amount has been transferred to government’s coffers as fine levied on the French vessel.

2012 Concord Times