Four Dominican fishermen were apprehended by Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marines for poaching in Bahamian waters Saturday, according to the defence force.
The fishermen, along with a quantity of scaled fish, were apprehended on a 50-ft. Dominican registered vessel on the Great Bahama Bank. Marines are said to be continuing their search for additional crewmembers of the Dominican vessel, who left the area aboard several skiffs.
The arrest comes on the heel of the apprehension of two drug suspects, along with the discovery of 168 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $168,000 on 10 June, by marines stationed at the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, along with the Park Warden.
The suspects were charged before the courts after they and the contraband were handed over to police. The matter went before the magistrate court on June 14, where the suspects pleaded not guilty and were remanded to the Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDOC).
On September 18 last year, marines apprehended six Dominican poachers aboard three skiffs in the area of Cay Santo Domingo. The Dominicans were sentenced for engaging in foreign fishing within the exclusive economic zone of The Bahamas and each was sentenced to 18 months in prison. They were also charged with possession of prohibited apparatus for fishing purposes, and were sentenced to six months in prison at the BDOC.
The Dominicans in this latest incident were taken into custody and will be handed over to police and officials at the Marine Resources Unit (MRU).