Thirty-two Dominicans were caught in Jamaican waters with over $10-million worth of fish on Sunday.
The Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard caught them fishing illegally in the North West Ridge area, a popular fishing ground for local fishermen close to the Pedro Cays.
JDF spokesman, Major Basil Jarrett, says the Coast Guard was patrolling the area in one of its new ships, the HMJS Cornwall, when their radar detected the foreign vessel.
He says the patrol boat approached the foreign vessel and instructed it to stop. But the poachers sped off in order to evade them.
The soldiers then launched a high-speed Rigged Inflated Boat from the ship, and chased the fishermen down.
When they boarded the boat, they reportedly found over 20lbs pounds of fish, a 12-gauge shotgun, over 20 cartridges of ammunition, and 32 nationals of the Dominican Republic.
The authorities took the men to the Coast Guard Headquarters in Port Royal.
They were processed by the police, as well as immigration and health officials, after it was discovered that they didn’t have the required fishing licenses and were not permitted to work in Jamaica.
The JDF says the $10-million seizure is welcome news for local fishermen, who have to compete with poachers for the seafood market.
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