The toothfish poacher Pion, formerly Piscis, South Boy, Gale, Yin Peng, Chu Lim and the Bird has changed flag to Honduras. The vessel has been flagged to North Korea, Togo and Mongolia the last five years the .
The vessel is IUU listed by CCAMLR and by the South East Atlantic Fishery Organization SEAFO. The vessel is thus subject to sanctions like denial of access to port in the member states of these organizations such as the China, Korea, Japan, Australia, the EU, South Africa and Namibia.
Details on the vessel can be found here.
See and search the IUU vessel lis here.
The TV channel Al Jazeera is screening a two-part investigation which identifies and expose some of those involved in the multi-million dollar trade and to look in particular at its consequences for the impoverished West African nation of Sierra Leone.
In part one of Pirate Fishing reporter Juliana Ruhfus and producer Orlando von Einsiedel take to the seas off Sierra Leone with an NGO, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), which has been trying to raise awareness about the issue. see part one here.
Part two of the film will be shown on AL Jazeera tonight and available online shortly after.
The Coalition of Legal Tootfish Operators, has posted the Trygg Mat Combined IUU vessel list on their website.
COLTO was formed by the legal toothfish industry to eliminate toothfish poaching. The coalition has a long history of collaboration with governments, NGOs, industry and the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation for the Southern Oceans; CCAMLR.
Toothfish poaching has gone in waves. Some of the first to develop it were Norwegian long line vessel operators. (See FoE Norway toothfish_report_1997_english). In the late 1990′ies the first wave of poachers slowed down as ISOFISH, a coalition of NGOs, government and industry formed in 1997 and CCAMLR continued to present documentation on the owners, their nationalities and the trade routes for the product.
Colto was established after ISOFISH had decided that sufficient profiling and assistance had been given to authorities to enable effective control over toothfish IUU fishing. According to COLTO, the lack of an industry/conservation group “watchdog” saw increased activities by new, more highly organised, IUU operators.
At the moment four poachers and one transport vessel are actively poaching for toothfish. All of them are on the IUU vessel list. At the peak, between 50 and 60 vessels were illegally fishing for toothfish in CCAMLR waters, according to COLTO,
Documentation gathered by Stop Illegal Fishing (SIF) and the Trygg Mat Foundation indicates that number of tuna purse seiners flagged to France, Spain, Belize and South Korea appears to have been fishing without valid licenses in the Liberian 200 mile zone.
Trygg Mat has tracked the movements of fishing vessels in Liberian waters for 9 months. Last summer, five vessels were tracked with vessel movements consistent with fishing in the Liberian 200 mile zone. A new investigation in January 2012 show an additional seven vessels with the same kind of fishery related activities in the zone. The Liberian Fisheries administration confirms to the SIF that the vessels do not have valid fishing licenses in Liberia.
Read the article from SIF here
Stop Illegal Fishing is a component of NEPAD’s Partnership for African Fisheries programme