Source & Author: The Montserrat Reporter Online
Five French nationals are likely to face charges and appear in court later this week after they were detained following a joint patrol involving Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) and US Coast Guard.
An ABDF statement said that an estimated 1763.7 pounds of conch and 100 pounds of fish were confiscated during the joint patrol south of Antigua between April 8 and 9 when the two French fishing vessels were apprehended in Antiguan and Barbudan waters for illegal fishing and transshipping of conch, respectively.
“This has been an ongoing issue where we have come across a number of foreign vessels mainly from the French territory of Guadeloupe that have been fishing in Antigua & Barbuda waters, and the Coast Guard, over the years, has made a number of interceptions,” according to the Acting Head of the Coast Guard, Lieutenant Commander Elroy Skerritt.
“What happened here is that the ABDF Coast Guard had this opportunity to engage the US Coast Guard with a joint patrol where we had a number of persons on board one of their vessels,” he added.
The cases are being jointly investigated by the ABDF Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Fisheries departments.