AFCD charges Mainland fishermen suspected of operating illegally in Hong Kong waters (with photo)


     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (November 30) laid charges against four men on board a Mainland vessel suspected of engaging in illegal fishing in Hong Kong waters to the south of Lamma Island.

     Marine Police officers intercepted a Mainland vessel suspected to be carrying out illegal fishing activities in the above-mentioned waters at about 2.30pm yesterday (November 29). Upon notification, AFCD officers conducted investigation and seized some fishing gear on board.

     Charges were laid against the four Mainland fishermen found on board the vessel. They were suspected to have contravened the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap. 171). The case will be mentioned at Eastern Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow (December 1).

     Only a vessel registered under the Ordinance can be used for fishing in Hong Kong waters. Regardless of the type of fishing gear used, a non-local fishing vessel is not allowed to carry out fishing activities in Hong Kong waters. Any offender on conviction is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for six months.

     An AFCD spokesman said, “The Government is committed to cracking down on illegal fishing activities in Hong Kong waters. The AFCD will maintain close liaison with relevant law enforcement departments and step up patrols and stringently enforce the law.”