The foreign fishing vessel detained for more than six months for damaging the domestic under-sea cable has been released before Christmas after paying a USD$1.1m fine.
The purse seiner ,Fu Kuon No 808, from Taiwan was confined and anchored off Rove water-front since May after its anchor damaged the domestic cable affecting supply to Malaita and western provinces of Choiseul and the West.
Whilst services was restored to the provinces in late July, the boat was detained–faced the high court and was demanded to pay for the cost of the damages.
Chair of the Solomon Islands Submarine Cable Company, Chris Hapa, confirmed to SBMOnline today that the ship was only released after they paid the fine.
He confirmed that the settlement deed with the owners of the ship was signed and paid before Christmas allowing the boat to leave.
Hapa said the settlement of USD$1.1m was paid directly to SISCC to compensate for the loss it incurred through the damage.
He explained that the money would be used to pay for the ship that carried out the repair work and other costs as stipulated in the settlement.
Director of Solomon Islands Maritime Authority Thierry Nervale said then the incident was reported to SIMA, he immediately requested an inspection of the fishing vessel (Port State Control as it is a foreign vessel) on 12 May which led to the detention of the vessel.