Republic v Dalage [2020] SCSC 294 (1 June 2020)

Case summary

The convicted individual, a Sri Lankan national, pleaded guilty to using a foreign fishing vessel which is not licensed contrary to section 11 of the Fisheries Act (Act), for fishing in Seychelles waters contrary to section 58 of the Act and punishable under section 58 of the Act.

On boarding the vessel, the coast guard together with individuals from the Seychelles Fishing Authority found seven crew members and 12,298.08 kilograms of salt fish, marlin and shark.

In his plea for mitigation, the convicted individual claimed that he was a first-time offender. His counsel further submitted that the boat owner cannot be traced and that all the blame has been laid at the door of the convict, a man without means and with no other livelihood besides his job as a skipper.

Taking into account the plea for mitigation and the remorse shown by the individual, the court sentenced him to a fine of one thousand Seychelles Rupees. The court further ordered that, under section 70(a) of the Act, the vessel and the fishing gear be forfeited to the Republic of Seychelles. It held that, since the individual has no means whereby to pay the fine, the fine be levied from the sale of the vessel and other equipment. The court further recommended that the individual be repatriated to his country of origin as a prohibited immigrant.

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