Palau accuses Taiwan boat of shark mutilation


KOROR, Palau, AFP

Taiwanese fishing boat had nearly 100 shark carcasses and some 650 shark fins on board when it was stopped in waters off Palau, which has a strict ban on shark fishing, officials said Thursday.

Palau Assistant Attorney General Christopher Hale said 30 charges had been filed against the vessel, its Taiwanese captain and a Palau partner firm for breaching the Pacific island’s prohibition on shark fishing and mutilation.

If convicted, they faces fines of up to US$500,000 dollars.

When the boat was stopped, authorities found 94 shark carcasses, 11 shark heads and about 650 shark fins inside.

The vessel is also said to have manipulated its location device to make it undetectable by Palau’s vessel monitoring system. Another Taiwanese boat is also being held after sharks were found onboard, the vice presidential office said.