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Yacht agency settles MVR300K fine over damaging protected site

Fathmath Shaahunaz
22 August 2017, MVT 16:27
The protected island of G.A. Hithaadhoo. PHOTO/ @iminaahnth on Twitter
Fathmath Shaahunaz
22 August 2017, MVT 16:27

A yacht agency group has settled a fine of MVR 300,000 over trespassing and damaging a marine protected site in Gaafu Alif atoll, confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday.

In a statement, EPA pronounced that KOGO George Town’s agent Asia Pacific Superyachts was fined last April after one of their vessels illegally entered the reef and island of Hithaadhoo in Gaafu Alif, which are protected under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act of the Maldives.

EPA stated that the fine was settled within the granted period of time.

The agency noted in its statement that the yacht’s anchor had been thrown into the protected reef of Hithaadhoo. Tourists aboard the yacht had also gone ashore and caused various amounts of damage to the island’s environment, EPA added.

Declaring that “MY KOGO George Town” had not sought the EPA’s permission, EPA disclosed that several entities had photographed the vessel trespassing in the protected area and sent in the incriminating photographs to EPA.

Under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act of the Maldives, fines of up to MVR 100 million may be issued depending on the extent of violation.

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