Man given suspended jail sentence for trawling
Thursday, January 18, 2018
A man who illegally used trawling gear for fishing yesterday (January 17) has been convicted and sentenced to two months' imprisonment suspended for two years and a fine of $4,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Court today (January 18).
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and the Marine Police mounted an anti-illegal fishing operation in the eastern waters of Hong Kong yesterday, and found a Mainland shrimp trawler suspected to be trawling at Ninepin Islands at about 2.30pm. They intercepted the vessel for an inspection. Some gear used for trawling was seized on board the vessel, including electrical trawling devices.
Upon investigation by the AFCD, a male master on the vessel was charged for contravening the Fisheries Protection Regulations by using prohibited fishing gear. He was convicted and sentenced today.
An AFCD spokesman reminded the public that the ban on trawling came into force on December 31, 2012. All electricity transmitting devices used for fishing are also prohibited. Under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance, any person who contravenes the ban is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction.
The spokesman said that trawling is a non-selective fishing operation which damages the seabed and the marine ecosystem, especially trawling with electricity which kills all marine life around the trawl net causing serious damage to the marine ecosystem and resources.
The spokesman said, "The AFCD and the Police will continue to carry out joint enforcement operations to crack down on illegal fishing activities."
A trawler operating illegally was intercepted in an anti-illegal fishing operation jointly mounted by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Marine Police in the eastern waters of Hong Kong last night (January 17). Photo shows the shrimp trawler trawling illegally.