Honduran fishermen plead guilty to breaches of the Fisheries Act.

The 131 Honduran fishermen, who were detained on December 11, for illegally fishing in Jamaican waters have pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fisheries Act.


King’s Counsel Tom Tavares-Finson, who represented the fishermen noted that six of the crew members, who are juveniles, were admonished and discharged, while 124 of them were each fined $40,000 or two months imprisonment.


The Captain was fined $3 million or three months imprisonment for damage to the Coast Guard’s vessel.


In addition, he was fined $150,000 for fishing without a licence and $2,000 for failure to obey the command of the Coast Guard to stop.


The court was held at the Marine Police Headquarters, and Parish Judge Leighton Morris imposed the fines.


No application was made for the forfeiture of the vessel.


Today (December 29), Tavares-Finson noted that as soon as the men receive funds from Honduras to pay the fines they will leave the island. Until then, they remain on the vessel at the Coast Guard Facility at Port Royal.


Meantime, Mr Tavares-Finson said two of the fishermen have contracted malaria and are now in quarantine at the Kingston Public Hospital.


The attorney filed an application on December 21, for a parish judge to issue an order for the fishermen to be taken to court.


He complained that his clients were being kept on the vessel in deplorable conditions and there were fears of an outbreak of disease.



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