Application filed in Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, seeking immediate release of 131 Honduran fishermen detained since December 11
King’s Counsel, Tom Tavares-Finson today (December 21) filed an application in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, seeking the immediate release of 131 Honduran fishermen who have been detained since December 11.
The Jamaica Defence Coast Guard reported earlier that it intercepted a Honduran vessel with the men aboard, for fishing illegally in the Pedro Banks.
The Coast Guard also noted that after boarding the vessel, multiple offences under the Fisheries Act 2018 and the Exclusive Economic Zone Act were detected, along with other breaches.
It said the fishermen were taken ashore to be processed for prosecution.
However, Mr Tavares-Finson, who is representing the fishermen, said in his affidavit that the captain and pilot have denied that the vessel was in Jamaica’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
He said to date, no one has been charged with any offence.
He wants the fishermen to be brought to court for enquiries to be made into the circumstances and reasons for their detention.
The attorney is also seeking their immediate release because he said the fishermen were subjected to unlawful detention, in less than desirable conditions and there are fears of an outbreak of disease.
He noted that the fishermen are in the custody of the Coast Guard and the Marine Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The affidavit outlined that having seized the vessel, the Coast Guard escorted the vessel and crew to the coast guard facility in Port Royal, and to date, that is where the men remain, on the vessel.
Noting that the men are being held in unsanitary conditions on the vessel, he is asking for their release so that they can go back home to Honduras.