United States Tuna-fishing boats are being arrested by the Ecuadorian navy, and their captains charged with fishing illegally in Ecuador's 200-mile (321 kms) territorial limit.
Aerial View of Tuna boats fishing off Salinas (4 shots)
Aerial View Ecuadorian destroyer escort vessel wit Tuna boats (2 shots)
Aerial View Tuna boats
GV Ships at sea
SV Seamen from Tuna boat walk along beach
CU Tuna boat Captain speaks (SOUND ON FILM)
SV & CU Commandant of naval base at Salinas faces reporter (Voice over)
LVs Reporter's voice continues over shots shipping and beach (6 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: U.S. FISHING-BOAT CAPTAIN: "I would say that when they actually started after us we were off their coast a good fifty miles at least, or maybe a little bit more."
REPORTER: "Did they shoot?"
CAPTAIN: "Well not at us, but I saw them, I guess they were firing at "Cape Cod", another boat that we was headed towards, one of the smaller vessels LC 72."
REPORTER: "Did you intend to continue doing this?"
CAPTAIN: "Well, as long as our Government doesn't recognise over the 12 miles limit, you know, the rest is international waters, we'll keep doing it."
REPORTER: "Doesn't the United States pay the fines ultimately in these cases?"
CAPTAIN: "Well yes, they do. We take insurance out also , I guess I don't know what insurance it is, but we have an insurance that guarantees the payment. We don't have to pay, because it would break us. In two trips, you know, that costs a lot of money, the fine, we were fined 69 thousand dollars."
Initials CM/MR/OS/2316 CM/MR/OS/2333
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States Tuna-fishing boats are being arrested by the Ecuadorian navy, and their captains charged with fishing illegally in Ecuador's 200-mile (321 kms) territorial limit. The United States and most other nations recognise only a 12-mile (19 kms) limit.
Nine United States vessels were seized within ten days for fishing without an Ecuadorian Government permit, and escorted into Puerto Salinas.
One American fishing-boat captain, Mr. Ben Maughan of San Diego, claimed he had the support of his Government in fishing inside the 200-mile limit. He was answered by the commandant of the naval base in Salines, who gave Ecuador's point of view.
The United States Government in fact advises American fishermen against obtaining Ecuadorian fishing permits, since it claims that the area beyond the 12-mile limit is international water. The Ecuador Government has accused United States fishing interests of provocation in despatching a fishing fleet, based on the American West Coast, to South American territorial waters.
On Monday (17 Jan) the United States Government announced it was cutting off arms supplies to Ecuador for one year and considering other reprisals because of the territorial waters dispute.
Both sides of the question were clarified on the spot in Puerto Salines by two of the people most closely involved.
The Ecuadorian position was given by the commandant of the naval base in Salinas. He said that in the past Ecuador had made insufficient use of fishing. But that is where its Economic future must lie. He spoke of the effects of the humble current which simultaneously renders the sea here enormously fertile, and yet makes much of the coast land worthless desert. Ecuador's official statements have made clear that this Government hopes to avoid further conflict with the United states, but that it is equally determined to maintain its hold on 200 miles of territorial waters.