Thursday, 22 January 2015

Antarctic toothfish poaching ships shrug off New Zealand navy

Three suspected illegal fishing vessels are filmed hauling in prized fish with banned nets in the Southern Ocean

Wednesday 21 January 2015 13.39 GMT

Staying hidden behind sea ice and large waves, sailors aboard a navy patrol boat from New Zealand sneaked up on three suspected poaching ships, then took photos and video of the fishermen hauling in prized fish in banned nets from the ocean near Antarctica. Seemingly caught red-handed, the crews of the rusting vessels just kept on fishing.

Authorities say this month’s high-seas confrontations, and the detailed evidence collected, mark a first in Antarctic waters, where regulators have long suspected poaching activities but have found them difficult to police in an area that’s roughly the size of the continental United States.

It is a huge illegal business. Each of the ships could hold more than $1m worth of Antarctic toothfish, marketed in North America as Chilean sea bass.

The three ships were encountered between 6 and 13 January, near Commonwealth Bay and about 110 kilometres (70 miles) from the Antarctic coast. Each quickly hoisted a flag proclaiming it to be a fishing vessel from Equatorial Guinea, said Lt. Cmdr. Graham MacLean, the patrol boat’s commanding officer. When the navy demanded to board to check documentation, each of the three captains flatly refused, he said.

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis