Panamanian fisheries officials have fined the owners of the Costa Rican-flagged vessel, ‘Kembly III’, USD 250,000 for fishing around 2,286 pounds (about one ton) of prohibited species in the south of Punta Coco in the Gulf of Panama. The vessel had caught tuna, shark, dorado, and sailfish. The hefty fine comes after the country established a new fishing law in March, reported Noticiero PTT.
Under this rule, a foreign-flagged boat equal to or less than 100 gross tonnages (GRT) can be fined between USD 50,000 to USD 300,000 for fishing infractions or three times the amount of the market value of the catches in the first sale. Under the previous fisheries regulation, vessels were penalized USD 10 per GRT, which was very low. For example, a 9.1 GRT boat would have been fined USD 9,100.
After 10 days of a sit-in protest by Mexican handline tuna fishers, Governor Jaime Bonilla Valdez of Baja, California, gave in to their demands and granted them permits to continue fishing in the Eastern Pacific. He came to a decision after speaking with the members of the Altamar Fishermen's Union who were protesting against authorities in the city of Ensenada. They said that officials were favoring industrial purse seine fleets and discriminating against “poor fishermen”.
During a visit to the port of Ensenada, Valdez pointed out that the fishermen's petition is fair and valid and that the federal government cannot be granting tuna fishing permits only to large international companies that exploit Mexican fishing resources for their own benefit, reported El Vigia.
StarKist will be spending USD 3.6 million to move to its new corporate headquarters in Fairfax County, Virginia. After 10 years of being located in Pittsburgh, the company announced that it will be closing its office on March 31, 2022. It will occupy almost 24,000 square feet at its new facility at 1875 Explorer St. in Reston, where it expects to hire about 83 employees.
Given the relocation, it is not clear how many people from the current office will be laid off. Last month, StarKist employees said that they were shocked and saddened by the announcement.