Heinaste captain sentenced
Impounded vessel released
05 February 2020 | Crime
The captain of the fishing vessel Heinaste, Angrimur Brynjolfsson (67), was sentenced to a fine of N$950 000 or 12 years imprisonment on three counts relating to fishing in restricted waters along the Namibian coast.
Magistrate Rhivermo Williams however dismissed an application by the State to have the vessel forfeited to the State.
During sentencing on Wednesday, Williams said that Brynjolfsson’s offence not only affects the Namibian marine life but the Namibian people at large.
“The management, protection, harvesting and utilization of marine resources are of huge importance for the country. Chief fisheries biologist Bean Mbeurora Tjizoo submitted in aggravation that the impact of trawling fishing gear in particular on fish species such as sardines, pilchard or juvenile horse mackerel and hake, which are of commercial value to Namibia, are detrimental. When trawling, no fish is left uncaught, hence such an offense comes with a strict penalty of a fine not exceeding N$500 000.”
Williams added that she also had to consider the public’s interest in the case.
“Many employees in the fishing sector are losing their jobs, and they would want to see justice being done and the accused punished accordingly.”
She handed Brynjolfsson a sentence of four years imprisonment or a fine of N$300 000 for each of the three charges against him. He was also fined an additional N$50 000.
Williams dismissed the State’s application to have the Heinaste and its fishing gear forfeited to the State due to insufficient evidence.
She said that the State relied on the employment contract signed between Brynjolfsson and Saga Seafood Namibia and the director who represented Heinaste to show a link between Saga Seafood and Heinaste.
“The contract of employment does not talk about the illegal use of the vessel. No evidence was presented that the two companies have the same shareholding or board of directors. It cannot be inferred that the owners of the vessel knew that the accused would steer the vessel into a prohibited area and could prevent that. The owner of the vessel cannot be prejudiced by the actions of the accused.”
She ordered that the vessel and all relevant documents to be handed back to the owners with immediate effect.
The Heinaste, which is linked to the controversial Icelandic company Samherji, was impounded during December 2019.
Brynjolfsson was represented by advocate Shakespeare Masiza while prosecutor Maggy Shiyagaya represented the State.