Ship’s captain fined R100,000 for illegal fishing


The Lucky Too

Priyantha Hettiarchi, captain of the fishing boat Lucky Too from Sri Lanka, was fined by the Supreme Court of Seychelles last Thursday.

The boat and its seven-strong crew, including the captain, were stopped by the Seychelles Coast Guard vessel Topaz on January 11, 2012 near the Amirantes group of islands.

Enforcement officers of the Seychelles Fishing Authority boarded the boat on January 12, 2012 and their investigation confirmed that it had been fishing illegally in Seychelles waters.

The case was brought before the Supreme Court on January 16, 2012 where the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Part of the illegal catch found on board the Lucky Too

The case was scheduled for hearing on July 5, 2012, and the accused changed his plea to guilty, and informed the court that he had no means to pay the fine, the maximum of which is set at R2.5 million.

Upon sentencing, Judge Gustave Dodin took consideration of the fact that the accused of 43 years old from Sri Lanka have a wife and four children, had shown remorse, and had been in police custody since.

He granted the accused 30 days to pay the fine, in default of which the vessel will be forfeited.

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