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Dongwon Pays USD 2 Million Penalty For IUU Tuna Fishing In Liberia

Dongwon Industries, Korea’s largest tuna brand, has confirmed it paid a penalty of USD 2 million to the Liberian government for illegal fishing activities in African waters.

According to industry sources on April 28, the Liberian government had imposed penalties of USD 1 million each for the company’s purse seine tuna fishing vessels F/V Premier and F/V Solevant.

The two vessels had engaged in illegal fishing, non-reporting of fish landings, and use of fake fishing licenses in the Liberian exclusive economic zone for two years in 2011 and 2012.

In a press release, Greenpeace, an environmental non-governmental organization, demanded to the Korean government that Dongwon be investigated for its activities and prosecuted as necessary to prevent a repeat. The South Regional Police Commission in Korea has set out to investigate the case.

To this, Dongwon responded, “Most fishing fleets must buy licenses through local agents. As many as 40 fleets including the French one had unknowingly purchased fake licenses.” The company said it is preparing a lawsuit against the local Liberian agency for damages.