solomon-islands-flag Government of Solomon Islands

RSIPV Lata escorting one of the Vietnamese Blue Boats following their arrest last year. Photo supplied.
RSIPV Lata escorting one of the Vietnamese Blue Boats following their arrest last year. Photo supplied.

Maritime Police in Honiara have burnt the last of the three Vietnamese blue boats arrested last year at the Indispensable reef off Rennell and Bellona Province for illegally harvesting sea cucumber.

This followed a meeting between the police authorities and the Ministry of Fisheries officials recently. Police had requested the MFMR to handover the task of destroying the last of the three boats because of serious concerns about the long delay in disposing off the boats.

The High Court in its ruling last year, had ordered the destruction of the boats however, a local company engaged initially to do the task was unable to do it so the MFMR had to consider other options to have the boats destroyed.

Police offer to destroy the last boat was accepted when the two parties met because they have the capability to carry out the task.

Two of the boats were burnt by landowners from Ngella in the Central Province while the third boat was anchored at Mbokona bay attracting public criticism for non-compliance of court orders.

The destruction of the boats would send a message to the Vietnamese who maybe planning another trip here that Solomon Islands will not tolerate any intrusion into its Exclusive Economic Zone by foreigners.