The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) continues to lead the world in shark conservation with another successful enforcement effort. Congratulations to Glen Joseph and his team at the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority for a job well done. The Marshall Islands Journal carried the story of the successful enforcement in their July 6, 2012 issue:
Three Finners Fined by MIMRA
by Isaac Marty
"Three fishing vessels were caught with shark skins, fins, and carcasses on board by the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIMRA) last month. Taiwan-flagged Eastern Star and Spanish-flagged Albacora Uno were fined US$55,000 each by MIMRA. Both vessels are represented locally by Uliga Shipping Agency, Majuro. The confiscated materials included two bags full of dried shark skins and fins for Eastern Star and 18 shark carcasses for Albacora Uno.
Meanwhile, RMI-flagged Koo's 107 was penalized for a bag full of shark skins and fins. The vessel is still undergoing its case with MIMRA. Penalty for the vessel has not yet been decided. MIMRA enforcement officer Marcella Tarkwon, in referring to MIMRA Act Title 61 under the RMI law, stated that vessels settle their cases with MIMRA instead of going to court. "All three fishing vessels were caught in Majuro lagoon during off loading," said Tarkwon."
Published in the Marshall Islands Journal on July 6, 2012.
This is not the first time the Albacora Uno, owned by Spanish company Albacora S.A., has been caught poaching in the Pacific. In 2010 the owners were charged with 67 counts of fishing inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the western and central Pacific without a valid U.S. permit. The company was assessed a US$5 million civil penalty for the infractions, the largest civil penalty ever assessed by the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.