Sea Shepherd announced that once again they have detained Chinese-owned vessels illegally shark fishing off Timor. The Sea Shepherd, M/Y Ocean Warrior tracked the Pingtan Marine Enterprise fleet over a two-week period and during a dawn raid with Timor-Leste police, discovered the Chinese were fishing with gill nets anchored to the sea floor. The obvious targets were bottom dwellers like sharks.
Almost Exclusively Sharks!
Sea Shepherd spokesman, Gary Stokes who was aboard the Ocean Warrior described video taken by Sea Shepherd that showed the Chinese fleet hauling in nets full of sharks, including shark species protected by international conventions.
When the Timorese police boarded the fishing boats they discovered that their catch consisted almost exclusively of thousands of sharks. See the full story in the guardian.
This is another example of the seemingly insatiable appetite for shark fin soup and shark fins used in traditional Chinese medicine that has fueled the disastrous over-fishing of shark populations woldwide.
Chinese Fishing Vessels Repeatedly Flout International Law
Gary Stokes said in August, the same fleet was found with 300 tonnes of fish, mostly sharks including endangered hammerhead sharks, in the Galapagos National Park. See BBC report on Chinese ship captured by Ecuadorian authorities. (photo – Ecuadorian EPA)
Sea Shepherd was tracking two other fishing vessels owned by another Chinese company, which were observed fishing with nets that were 10km long, despite 2.5km being the maximum allowed by international law.
The future is working with third world countries to police their waters
Sea Shepherd has been increasing its collaboration with the authorities of third world countries, that do not have the resources to enforce protection in their territorial waters. “They’re the ones getting their oceans pillaged by foreign vessels,” Stokes said. “It’s a new role for us the last couple of years. We’re hoping to roll it out over the whole of south-east Asia.”
by Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
See Related Blue Ocean Posts on Shark Preservation:
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