Charged with unlawfully handling, harvesting and processing conch and endangered sea turtles without a licence, the captain and chief mate of the vessel Thunder Ridge were each fined us $22,100 or 12 months in prison by a Jamaican court. This is the highest fine ever imposed in the country for an environmental crime. The culprits were found to violate the Wildlife Protection Act, the Aquaculture Act and the Fishing Industry Act.
They were also fined us $22 or nine months imprisonment for fishing without a licence and us $11 or six months imprisonment for fishing in a closed season for conch.
On January 16, 2002, the Thunder Ridge was intercepted on the Pedro Banks. A huge haul of conch and hawksbill turtles was found on board and seized from the vessel.
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