Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM patrol boats fire on fishing vessel

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): February 2000 - The FSM Justice Department reported during the President's Cabinet meeting yesterday that an FSM patrol boat fired warning shots at a fishing vessel fleeing arrest last weekend.

The FSM patrol boat was participating in Operation Bigeye 2000, a combined nation-wide exercise with the United States Coast Guard and the Australian air force, which also used Canadian satellite imagery. The exercise caught the entire foreign fishing fleet off guard, said Lam Dang, acting attorney general.

After the FSM patrol boat fired an automatic weapon across the bow, the fleeing fishing boat stopped and was arrested in connection with illegal fishing and escorted to Chuuk State, said Dang.

No one was injured, said Dang.

One other boat was arrested in connection with illegal fishing in the operation and taken to Yap State, and many fishing boats were boarded and checked for proper documents, said Dang.

"This was the first time in a long time that a FSM patrol boat had to fire warning shots," said Dang.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356