BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
THE case against three Chinese business men will appear in court today.
They are Zhangs Tongzhi, XU Qiang and Sheng Song Frank; the trio were charged under the Fisheries Management Act.
Their case will be mentioned before Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea in the Honiara Magistrate Court.
The trio were facing four charges; count one, Artisanal Fishing in indirect association with a registered company without valid and applicable license contrary to section 43(1)(a) (c) Fisheries Management Act 2015; Count two, Buy or otherwise trade in Fish taken in contravention of the Act contrary to section 27(1) Fisheries Management Act 2015; Count three, Engage in activities relating to fish processing for the purposes of export without valid and applicable license contrary to section 44(1)(a) as read with section 44(1)(b) and (c) Fisheries Management Act 2015; and Count four, cause or permit a person acting on his behalf to engage in activities of such a kind or type, at a time for which a valid license or authorisation is required contrary to section 56 (1) (a) as read with (b) Fisheries Management Act 2015.
The trio were charged in relation to the illegal harvesting of the sea cucumber species at Ontong Java atoll when the ban was still effective last year.
The defendants on the matter were the beche-de-mer licence export holders which government had issued with licence when the beche-de-mer ban was lifted last year.
The office of the Director Public Prosecution appears on behalf of the crown.