Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Illegal fishing inside Chagos Marine Reserve


Greenpeace finds illegal fishing vessels & urges UK to enforce Chagos marine reserve
October 2012. Greenpeace found two illegal Sri Lankan fishing boats inside the Chagos Marine Reserve and has called on the UK government to enforce protection of this Indian Ocean reserve from pirate fishing.
Rainbow Warrior
The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior is currently transiting from Mauritius to the Maldives as part of its Indian Ocean expedition and found in total three fishing boats deep within the Chagos Marine Protected Area, established by the UK government in 2010.
Dozens of sharks & tuna
Onboard one vessel, identified as IMUL-A-0352KLT, Greenpeace found dozens of sharks, including thresher sharks, a protected species in this region. This boat is not on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) list of registered vessels and is illegal. A second boat, identified as IMUL-A-12939MTR, was not on the IOTC list either and is illegal. Greenpeace also boarded that vessel, mainly finding skipjack tuna.
Gillnets and longlines
These fishing boats use indiscriminate gillnets and longlines to catch sharks, tuna and other marine life.
"We are demanding the UK government inspect these vessels and actively protect the marine reserve from illegal fishing. Without enforcement this protected area is not worth the paper it is written on," said Greenpeace UK oceans campaigner Simon Clydesdale on board the Rainbow Warrior.

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