A GROUP of fishermen was intercepted by the Fisheries Department and the police in Labasa for illegally fishing in Macuata waters.
The interception led to the confiscation of fishing gear, three outboard boats and fish worth hundreds of dollars.
Senior northern fisheries officer Jovesa Naceva said the fishermen had been handed over to the police for questioning.
"The fishermen were using gas and now we have seized all their items including the three boats," Mr Naceva said.
"This is a major operation and it has been successful.
"Right now, we are also doing our investigations and once it's completed, we'll be able to know the value of the catch."
Mr Naceva said it was unfortunate the fishermen were young and broke the law.
"The fishermen were caught at sea and escorted to the government wharf.
"This is what happens when people defy the law — if they are caught, they will be answerable."
Mr Naceva said the police stepped in and documented the necessary information "but as for the catch, we have sold it".
"The money earned will be directed towards government revenue," he added.
The situation has prompted the department to issue a fresh warning that such illegal activities will not be tolerated.
"We are warning the public that if they fish illegally and if caught, they will be taken to task," Mr Naceva said.
Northern police commander SSP Naulumatua Lutunacaucau said they were aware of the matter and had started their investigations.