The captain and crew of the Capital of Paradise I, owned by the Fish Processing Company of Tobago Limited, a company of the Tobago House of Assembly was detained by the Venezuelan Coast Guard for more than 24 hours earlier this week.
The Venezuelans had alleged on Monday that the vessel was fishing in their waters and not in the T&T Exclusive Economic Zone as claimed by the Captain.
However, the vessel which was on its seventh fishing voyage for the year was searched and was being escorted by two Venezuelan Coast Guard vessels toward the port of Guiria when they were told that the Capital of Paradise I was no longer under detention. The vessel which was released on Tuesday night through diplomatic efforts is now docked in Chaguaramas.
The drama started on Monday around 6 p.m. when the Venezuelan Coast Guard informed the Captain of the Capital of Paradise I they were fishing in Venezuelan waters. Seven hours earlier the Captain had informed the company’s manager Natasha James that the Orbit system on board was malfunctioning and they were going to “slackest” another line.
While the Captain was being questioned by the Venezuelans he requested the company office to confirm the vessel’s position through a back up tracking system known as Skymate.
So far the Capital of Paradise l was used to catch 26,600 pounds of fish to be sold locally, bringing in revenue of $122,892 in addition to the exportation of 39,179 pounds of yellow fin tuna valued at $732,195.99.