Turks and Caicos, March 20, 2017 – Providenciales – On Thursday 16th March 2017 at approximately 12:12pm, officers of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Marine Police onboard the ‘Sea Defender’ intercepted a poaching vessel with a number of fishermen that was later identified as Dominican Republic Nationals. The white steel vessel bearing the name ‘Captain Blaze’ is about 80 feet and had a number of dinghies and over 40 men onboard. It was sighted south west of White Cay, at a position within the territorial waters and fisheries limits of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
As Marine Police approached the vessel, the poachers attempted to evade capture and as a result, officers took action to bring the vessel to a stop. The boat was eventually towed to the Marina at Shipyard where officers from the Department of Environment and Coastal Resource (DECR) and Marine Officers jointly initiated an investigation and removed the marine products and other items which was handed over to DECR as the lead investigation agency. All of the marine products amounting to over 39,000 pounds of mostly fish was handed over to DECR staff. The men were arrested on suspicion of illegal fishing and taken into custody.
It is an offence to take marine products without a license. The Vessels and its occupants do not have the appropriate license to operate in the TCI fisheries limits. Investigations are ongoing.
During the operation no one was injured. If anyone has information relating to this incident contact the police at Marine Police Station at 231-7105 or contact Crime stoppers at 1-800-8477. The information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind you not to report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter page.
Press Release: RTCIPF