These Vietnamese fishing boats were burned miles off the coast of Palau after they were caught illegally fishing in the country’s waters.
Island Nation Burns Boats to Deter Illegal Fishing
The president of Palau decries those who are "raping our marine environment.”
In a fiery crackdown on illegal fishing, officials from the Pacific island nation of Palau burned a cluster of Vietnamese fishing boats off their coast on Thursday, sending black smoke and flames over turquoise water.
Palau law enforcement captured the wooden vessels in recent weeks. The ships' captains remain incarcerated in Palau while the 77 crew members are being sent home on two remaining fishing boats, with enough food and fuel to make it back to Vietnam.
“We hope to send a very clear message to poachers, who are raping our marine environment,” Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., the president of Palau, told National Geographic. “We will not tolerate any more unsustainable acts. Palau guarantees, you will return with nothing.”