The South African Fisheries Department says the 12 crew members of a foreign-owned vessel detained at Cape Town harbour will remain on board the ship for now while its origins are being investigated.
The Department said here Sunday that its inspectors boarded the vessel on Saturday after the crew refused to co-operate. The ship is registered under a Chinese company and was impounded after being suspected of illegally fishing between the coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province and Eastern Cape Province on Thursday.
Fisheries Department Director-General Siphokazi Ndudane said the crew members did not have the necessary permits to enter the country.
"It depends what the outcome is going to be, if its going to be a short term, they definitely will not be deported, because it could be that we will just issue fines. The company might come to say they will pay the fines, if that happens then the crew will be able to leave South African waters," Ndudane added.
"But if it's going to be a long-term thing, definitely we can't keep people on board a vessel while its docked, so they will be deported."
SOURCE: NAM NEWS NETWORK