One of four Vietnamese illegal fishing boats burned by Palau last June. (Photo: AFP) 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Pacific island nation of Palau has set fire to a Vietnamese fishing vessel caught illegally operating in its waters.

The boat was caught with loads of shark fins and rare black corals on board early this month, President of Palau Tommy Remengesau said in a recent statement. It was burned on May 25 while 14 crew members were deported.

Palau will not tolerate poachers in its ocean, the president stressed.

Last June, the authorities of Palau burned four Vietnamese fishing boats and the country declared to do the same with any other illegal fishing boat following its non-tolerance policy.

President Remengesau also announced a plan to better police its waters using aerial surveillance and satellite identification systems.

Palau, about 970 kilometres to the southeast of the Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean, has a population of about 21,000 people.

It has established a half-a-million-kilometre marine sanctuary, one of the world’s largest fully protected areas, to preserve more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral.-VNA