Shun De Man No. 66. Image: WCPFC

The Taiwan Fisheries Agency has imposed a fine of NTD$12,000,000 (€338,000) on a fishing vessel that committed serious infringements. This is the first time that a fine over NTD$10 million is imposed on an individual vessel. In addition to the financial penalty, the vessel’s fishing license has also been revoked.

According to the Agency, since the start of 2018, financial penalties have been imposed on 19 non-compliant fishing vessels, and the accumulated total fines has reached NTD$43,820,000 (€1.24 million).

Recent cases of violations include fishing in waters under national jurisdictions of other countries without the appropriate approval, seriously misreporting catch reports, and leaving ports without installing VMS onboard.
Sanctions have been applied to the operators and employees of these fishing vessels, some with heavy financial penalties in accordance with the severity of events or the number of illegal benefits. For some violators, in addition to financial penalties, fishing licenses were also suspended for one to three months, or revoked.

In the case of Shun De Man No. 66, a fine of NTD$12,000,000 has been imposed and its license revoked for leaving a foreign port without installing VMS on board, and deliberately provided false data to avoid monitoring of its fishing operations. Other than the evident intent to bypass government regulations, it also ignored Agency requests for co-operation in providing relevant information. This shortfall in co-operation, combined with the other offences, meant that this case was considered a serious violation, and exceptionally stringent penalties were applied.

The Fisheries Agency has made it clear that IUU fishing undermines the effectiveness of conservation and management measures adopted by the international communities, and also constitutes unfair competition to legitimate fisheries operators. The Agency continues to strengthen the monitoring and management measures and make use of powers made available to it under the Distant Water Fisheries Act, including fines, licenses revoking or suspension, illegal catch forfeiture or destruction and prohibition from leaving designated ports.

Source: Taiwan Fisheries Agency