The New Zealand navy has discovered a third fishing vessel it says is operating illegally in the Southern Ocean. This is the 4th vessel that has recently been discovered IUU fishing for toothfish. The offshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Wellington, last week intercepted two foreign fishing boats in the area, and Sea Shepherd located the Thunder and has been following them since late-December.
“This is a really shabby activity plundering what’s a delicate resource down there. These guys are really serious crooks and we’re going to throw the book at them in every way we possibly can,” he said.
“We’ll make sure they’re not able to land their catch at any reputable port and we’ll continue to make representations to any parties that seem to have connections to the vessels.”
New Zealand has also alerted the Spanish Government, as the ships’ owners have previously been linked to Spanish interests.
Tony Hazlett, chief executive of Nelson-based, and COLTO Member, Talleys, told Summer Report he believed the vessels have illegally caught toothfish on board.
Listen to Tony Hazlett on Summer Report ( 4 min 1 sec )
He said the boats should be placed under arrest and brought back to New Zealand to face judicial proceedings.
-taken from RadioNZ.co.nz