by Nick Delgado
Guam - The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sequoia during a recent mission throughout the Pacific detected two vessels fishing without permits. The vessels were spotted within Palau's exclusive economic zone. The first vessel was caught using a fish aggregating device, which is a large buoy that is left to drift for several months to attract fish, and is strictly prohibited in Palauan waters.
Coast Guard officials report the Philippine-flagged vessel had no permit to fish in Palauan waters and was ordered to exit the area and return to the Philippines. The Coast Guard came upon a second vessel, which was seized after it was cited for the same violations.
The first vessel was also seized after authorities learned that the two were affiliated. The Coast Guard confirms the crew and owners of both fishing vessels are facing potential prosecution in Palau.