Publication Details

P. Manoa, 'Judicial responses to illegal fishing prosecutions in Fiji' (2006) 10 (1) Journal of South Pacific Law 1-11.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Journal of South Pacific Law


Illegal fishing deprives a nation of its assets and wealth. Since 2002, seven fishing vessels have been found fishing illegally in Fiji waters. The role of the judiciary in deterring illegal fishing activity is an essential part of fisheries management and enforcement. Good decisions are more likely to attract compliance while lenient decisions are likely to promote unscrupulous fishing activity. In five years, the judiciary has laid out principles for sentencing and the making of forfeiture orders and its latest decision shows the judiciary adopting stern deterrent measures. This paper provides a preliminary analyses of the decisions of the judiciary on illegal fishing and discusses strengths and weaknesses of arguments used in setting penalties, making forfeiture orders and, in using vessel monitoring system data.