Chinese vessels fishing illegally on west African coast

The judge has decided that the Chinese trawlers, or fishing vessels, may not be removed from Surinamese waters awaiting a decision by the judge hearing the application for interim relief. Melvin Bouva, vice-president of the National Assembly (DNA), informed parliament.

Ros National Fishery, to whom the trawlers belong, has filed summary proceedings against the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) and the Suriname Coast Guard Authority, which falls under the Ministry of the Interior.

Bouva thought it was necessary to tell this to Parliament, because several MPs had asked several times about the issue of the Chinese trawlers. At a recently-held press conference, President Desi Bouterse had indicated that this issue had his attention and that it should be settled properly, since it is a friendly nation, namely: China.

With regard to the trawlers, one of the six Chinese trawlers was seized by police from the Maritime Department on the night of 30 April to 01 May. This in connection with a criminal investigation regarding violation of the Fisheries Act.

The trawlers were caught fishing in Surinamese waters without a permit. The police officers of the Maritime department were assisted by colleagues from the police resort Center and the Coast Guard Authority Suriname. The actions taken by the police and the coastguard were commissioned by the Public Prosecution Service.

This criminal case was subsequently transferred to the Fraud department of the police for further investigation. The captain of the trawler and his replacement have been insured pending investigation by the police of the Fraud department after consultation with the Public Prosecution Service.

In March, former Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV), Lekhram Soerdjan, announced in the National Assembly (DNA) that the six Chinese trawlers were illegally on Surinamese waters. That was not the case before, because the boats were given permission for inspection and inspection.

Vishmohanie Thomas