Chilean court fines Peru fishing ship $120,000

A Chilean court has fined a Peruvian company $120,000 after one of its ships was allegedly caught fishing in Chilean waters last week. The Los Halcones company was given the fine by the Fourth Court in the Chilean port city of Arica, about 11 miles south of the Peruvian border, daily El Comercio reported.

The Chilean Navy seized the Aguila fishing ship Thursday and arrested 16 of its crew members who were fishing for anchovy in disputed maritime territory that Chile controls, but which Peru claims as its own.

Los Halcones manager, Antonio Falcone, reportedly said “we don’t fail to recognize the maritime limit, but we can’t accept such an exaggerated fine because of a communication error.”

Central to the row is 38,000 square kilometers, or about 14,500 square miles, of fishing-rich sea which Peru and Bolivia lost to Chile during the 1879 – 1883 War of the Pacific.

The latest attempt to solve the conflict was made in mid-January, when Peru filed suite against Chile at the International Court of Justice, ICJ, in the Hague.

Peru’s application requests the ICJ determine the maritime boundary in accordance with international law and declare Peru’s sovereign right to the maritime area.

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