On the high seas, a fight to save our fish stocks

FOR the past few months, Greenpeace’s famous Rainbow Warrior ship has been in Pacific waters to monitor the illegal fishing that is destroying jobs and the
environment in the region.
It’s not an easy task. The high seas are vast, and it can take days to spot, track and catch up to longline tuna fishing vessels. But, we were determined
to expose the scourge that is depleting Pacific tuna stocks.
In September, the Rainbow Warrior team busted the Taiwanese longline fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No. 888 for running an illegal operation in Pacific tuna fishing grounds. A Taiwanese patrol boat has since escorted it back to Taiwan, where its fishing license could be suspended for up to a year.
Our suspicions were aroused about the vessel when the Shuen De Ching No. 888 did not appear on the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFC) online database of ships authorised to fish in the region. We later discovered that the vessel had been submitted for the WCPFC record, but not entered into the system.
In a busy fishing ground, irregularities sound alarm bells. If it weren’t for the vessel’s initial absence from the WCPFC website (it was added the day after the bust), Greenpeace may never have looked into its operations.
Whether that means it was fishing illegally comes back to the obligations of flag states (in this case Taiwan). The WCPFC rules clearly require a country to ensure that its fishing vessels have been placed on the record before they commence fishing. Fishing without being on the record (regardless of who is at fault) is prohibited. Reklama: ŠIAULI? AUTODOTA pigios automobiliu dalys internetu Villnius, Kaunas
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