Mainland fishermen deckhands operating illegally in Hong Kong waters given suspended jail sentence (with photo)

     Three Mainland fishermen deckhands who breached the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Cap. 171) by engaging in illegal fishing earlier in waters near Clear Water Bay in eastern Hong Kong, were convicted today (May 22).

     A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) noted that AFCD officers intercepted a local fishing vessel at around 3pm on May 19 for investigation. The vessel was suspected to be fishing illegally in violation of its registration conditions in the abovementioned waters. Some fishing gear (including an air compressor, diving regulators and plastic pipes) on board was seized and charges were laid against the persons involved subsequently.

     The three Mainland fishermen deckhands, who were charged for breaching the Ordinance, pleaded guilty at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts today and were sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, with the fishing gear confiscated.

     The spokesman said, "The Government is committed to combatting illegal fishing activities in Hong Kong waters. The AFCD will continue to step up patrols and take stringent enforcement action."

     Only a vessel registered under the Ordinance can be used for fishing in Hong Kong waters and only the fishing methods listed on its Certificate of Local Fishing Vessel Registration can be employed for fishing by the vessel. Any offender is liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $100,000 and six months' imprisonment.

Ends/Monday, May 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 17:18