18th December 2014: Sea Shepherd locates toothfish poacher

COLTO was pleased to hear that Sea Shepherd has located one of the last known IUU poachers operating in CCAMLR waters.

The announcement by Sea Shepherd today that the Bob Barker has located and is tracking the ‘Thunder’ is positive news in terms of eliminating the last vestiges of IUU fishing for toothfish. The Thunder is a well-known IUU toothfish poaching boat, and is one of the last known IUU fishing vessels known to be operating in Antarctic waters.

Of the remaining seven IUU vessels that operated up until February 2014, the reefer vessel, ‘Tiantai’ sank in Antarctic waters in March 2014; the ‘Perlon’ is in port in Indonesia; the ‘Lana’ and ‘Viking’ have not been sighted for some time; and the three IUU fishing vessels that were recently known to be in port in Thailand, the ‘Chang Bai’, ‘Chengdu’ and ‘Nihewan’ have now changed their names to ‘Taishan’, ‘Jianfeng’ and ‘Yunnan’ respectively, and appear to be heading South towards the CCAMLR area.

Martin Exel, Chair of the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO), congratulated Sea Shepherd at their successful tracking and location of the IUU operator on the high seas, apparently at the edge of the Antarctic ice pack, and reiterated that COLTO members support all legal measures being taken to ensure that IUU fishing is eliminated from toothfish fisheries. He noted that IUU fishing activities for toothfish had been reduced by over 95% in recent years through collaboration and cooperation between legal industry, conservation organisations, national and international fisheries compliance agencies (including Interpol) along with members and supporting parties to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, CCAMLR.

As such, Martin congratulated Sea Shepherd and the crew and officers aboard the Bob Barker for their assistance to eliminate IUU toothfish fishing totally from otherwise sustainable, healthy toothfish fisheries.

For more information on IUU fishing, and facts on toothfish fisheries:

• see www.colto.org and www.ccamlr.org
• Martin can be contacted for interviews on +61 413 595 532 and is based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (GMT +11)

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