Boat carrying dead man has no license to fish in Samoa's water

A Taiwan fishing vessel carrying the body of a Philippine national that has been dead for a month now docked at Matautu wharf has no license to fish in Samoa.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries' Chief Executive Officer, Tilafono David Hunter, confirmed the Chinese Taipei fishing vessel referred to as "Great Ocean 1" is not licensed to fish in Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zone. 

However, Tilafono explained the fishing vessel came into Samoa’s port specifically to repatriate the deceased crew home. 

“It has an authorisation from Chinese Taipei to fish in the high seas areas in the western and central Pacific Ocean,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

The authorisation for the fishing vessel is valid until the 10th of June 2022.

The C.E.O. added any fishing vessel found to be fishing in Samoa’s E.E.Z. without a valid license is liable to100,000 penalty units.  

Deputy Police Commissioner, Papali’i Monalisa Tiai-Keti said the request from the foreign fishing vessel for Samoan authority to hold an inquiry into the deceased man onboard was denied. 

She said this was declined in accordance to the Court Order. 

“The captain of the fishing vessel and company is responsible for making notification to the decease national authority,” said Papali’i. 

“It is not the responsibility of the State of Samoa.” 

The captain of the Chinese Taipei fishing vessel declined to comment when he approached earlier this week. 

 A shipping agency employee who was not authorised to speak to the media said the man that died on board has been dead since 1st November 2019. 

“The men on the ship said the deceased man who is in his late 20s died in his sleep,” said the employee. 

“He wasn’t sick or anything but had gone to sleep and later died.” 

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