Global Collaboration Doubles Sustainable Catch in Five Years

MSC partners deliver lasting improvements for healthy oceans A new report published by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to mark World Oceans Day shows how effective management and improvements made by MSC certified fisheries are delivering measurable, positive impacts in our oceans, from reducing bycatch to advancing scientific understanding of marine environments. Since 2010, the volume of global wild seafood …

Peru sets first ever Toothfish quota

The Ministry of Production (PRODUCE) set the total allowable catch of toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) at 120 tonnes for this year along the Peruvian coast. This measure, according to details of the ministerial resolution that sets it (No. 151-2016-PRODUCE), responds to the recommendations from Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE), and is aimed at small-scale fishermen that are authorized to catch …

COLTO Toothfish Depredation Workshop a Success

COLTO’s Toothfish Depredation Workshop that took place last month in Punta Arenas has been labelled a success by the 40+ attendees that took part.  The attendees consisted of fishermen, vessel owners/operators, scientists, gear manufacturers, and policy makers in what was a collaborative effort to assess the state of depredation in the Southern Ocean’s toothfish fisheries. It was concluded that the …

COLTO Depredation Workshop

Today marks the opening of the inaugural COLTO Depredation Workshop, in Punta Arenas, Chile.  The event has been co-sponsored by generous hosts AOBAC, Kendell Seafood, and WWF Australia. Attendees to the workshop will include fishermen, vessel owners and operators, fisheries scientists and government regulators from all the major toothfish fisheries.  These COLTO Members and associated scientists/regulators will also be very …

IUU Viking sunk by Indonesian authorities

The Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry sunk on Monday an Antarctic toothfish fishing vessel, wanted by Interpol for alleged illegal fishing in areas across the world. The vessel was sunk in waters off Pangandaran Beach, West Java. “Today, we are here to witness the realization of the Indonesian government’s commitment to transform Indonesia into a global maritime axis,” Maritime …

Sea Shepherd Op-Icefish concludes with Viking sunk

The Last Toothfish Poaching Vessel, Viking, Sunk by Indonesian Authorities. Sea Shepherd Concludes Operation Icefish 2015-16. Authorities in Indonesia have sunk the last of the “Bandit 6” toothfish poaching vessels, the Viking, in Pangandaran, West Java. Sea Shepherd representatives were on the ground to film the sinking, which marks the end of over a decade of toothfish poaching in the …

Southern Seas – beautifully captured imagery

Two photographers, Nicolas Gasco and Paul Tixier, have each spent years of their life in the Southern Seas, off the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands. For months, on boats that were totally on their own in the latitudes 40° and 50° South, and they came back with unique wildlife pictures from these remote and unknown regions. Among these pictures, killer whales …

Vidal finally arrested for toothfish poaching

The Yuyus operation is the name chosen by the Civil Guard to christen a major police operation from Madrid, whose main objective was the Ribeiran company, Vidal Shipowners, for their alleged involvement in illegal fishing for toothfish in the Antarctic. The research, led by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) through its central arm, the Central Unit Operational Environmental (UCOMA), jumped yesterday …

Last Toothfish poacher, Viking, arrested in Indonesia

The hunt for the last of six known toothfish poaching vessels has ended with the arrest of the Nigerian-flagged Viking in Indonesia. The announcement of the vessel’s arrest was made at a press conference in Jakarta today, held by Indonesian Fisheries Minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, the Commander of the Western Naval Fleet and other high-ranking Indonesian officials. Officials stated that the …

Kunlun arrested in Senegal

Senegalese government authorities have arrested the Kunlun, a fishing vessel accused of toothfish illegally fishing, which was wanted by the international community. As reported by the non-governmental organization Sea Shepherd, there are reports that the ship had falsified registration and was sailing under the flag of Indonesia. This situation allowed the vessel to be detained in Senegal on formalities regarding …

Toothfish prices on rise in US, Asia with IUU fleet in disarray

MIAMI, US — Prices have been steadily rising for Chilean seabass, or toothfish, with a crackdown on illegal catching set to see supply down in 2016. According to one executive on the high-end whitefish panel at the Global Seafood Market Conference, held last week in Miami, Florida, toothfish prices are getting to a high level for the US market. The market in Asia …

Ice patrol ship returns from Antarctic mission

British ice patrol ship HMS Protector has arrived at Lyttelton Port after five weeks patrolling the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. New Zealand and Australian officers were on the ship as part of an operation to protect the area from illegal fishing. Acting British High Commissioner to New Zealand Helen Smith said the patrol was a strong example of the close …

Sealord gets another longliner to catch toothfish in the Ross Sea

A new addition to the Sealord fleet for the annual Ross Sea toothfishing expedition is Australian-flagged and registered but has a dozen New Zealanders in its crew. The 57-metre Norwegian-built Antarctic Discovery has been refitted at Port Nelson this month and was expected to leave on Friday. It has joined the Antarctic Chieftain under the ownership of Australian Longline, which …

Operation Sparrow investigation complete: €17.84 million in fines.

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment have announced the final sanctions from Operation Sparrow 1.  48 administrative infractions to Spanish operators, 44 of them serious, with penalties amounting to a total of 17.84 million euros are to be collected.  Both Sparrow operations (I and II) represent a decisive step in addressing the business and financial network that links certain illegal …

British Navy tasked with keeping Toothfish poachers out of Ross Sea

For the first time in 80 years a British Navy ship will patrol the Ross Sea, with HMS Protector setting out to target Antarctic toothfish poachers. The icebreaker, which usually works on the British-owned Antarctic Peninsula, has docked in Hobart ahead of a month-long patrol of the Ross Sea. The ship’s captain, Rory Bryan, hopes the venture will deter illegal fishing …

COLTO announced as Seafood Champion finalist

The finalists for the 2016 international Seafood Champion Awards have been announced.  Four finalists have been selected in each of the four categories: Leadership, Innovation, Vision and Advocacy.  The winners will be announced at the 12th SeaWeb Seafood Summit, 1-3 February 2016 in St. Julian’s, Malta. SeaWeb’s Seafood Champion Awards recognise individuals and organisations for outstanding leadership in promoting environmentally …

HMNZS Otago departs for surveillance operation

The patrol vessel HMNZS Otago left Dunedin this morning for the annual monitoring trip. New Zealand’s anti-poaching operations hit the headlines last summer when the navy vessel Wellington intercepted – but could not board – three falsely flagged ships catching toothfish in the Ross Sea. It was all go this morning as the Otago left for its turn. The ship …

INTERPOL’s role in combating illegal fishing recognized

toothfish interpol

INTERPOL’s key role in combating illegal fishing activities worldwide has been recognized by the global fisheries community. At its annual meeting in Australia, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) strongly supported a number of reports highlighting the significant role played by INTERPOL in ongoing global efforts to identify, locate, arrest and prosecute the top offenders …

Sea Shepherd Announces Operation Icefish 2015-16

Second Campaign to Stop Illegal Fishing in the Southern Ocean Following the unprecedented success of Operation Icefish, Sea Shepherd has announced its second campaign to target illegal Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish operators in the Southern Ocean, Operation Icefish 2015-16. Led by returning Captain, Sid Chakravarty, Sea Shepherd will once again focus its attention on defending the pristine waters of Antarctica, with …

Three Customs Officials Transferred After Poacher Ship Escaped from Phuket

Three Customs officials have been transferred off Phuket after a cargo ship carrying an illegal haul of fish valued at millions of dollars secretly upped anchor and escaped from the island, bringing international criticism. Phuketwan understands that the Phuket Customs director, now working in Bangkok, signed the authorisation that enabled the Taishan to refuel. Soon after, the ship took to …

CCAMLR tag-return lottery 2015 – winners announced

The CCAMLR tag-return lottery, sponsored by COLTO, has been drawn and this year’s winner of first prize is the Australian vessel, Antarctic Chieftain. The lottery is designed to promote awareness of the tagging scheme on vessels and to ensure that all recaptured fish get reported to CCAMLR. Details of where fish were first tagged, and then recovered, are held by the …

INTERPOL-supported investigation into illegal fishing leads to prosecution

The global fight against fisheries crime has scored a major success, with the convictions of three crew members of a vessel subject to an INTERPOL Purple Notice for illegal fishing. A court in Sao Tomé and Principe found the captain, chief engineer and second engineer of the Thunder guilty of various illegal fishing charges. The vessel, which sank off the …

Press Release: Another nail in the coffin for illegal toothfish fishing

14th October 2015 The São Tomé and Príncipe court judgement against the Captain and two senior officers of the illegal toothfish fishing vessel, the Thunder is a welcome, major, blow against IUU fishing for toothfish.    It has reinforced the need for operators to work within legal, sustainable, fisheries. Martin Exel, Chair of the Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators, said that …

African Court Convicts Thunder Captain in Illegal Fishing Case

A São Tomé and Príncipe court on Monday convicted the captain of a fishing ship, the Thunder, and two crew members on several charges tied to illegal fishing, a prosecutor in the case said. The verdict was the culmination of a dramatic, 10,000-mile chase from Antarctica to the Gulf of Guinea. The Thunder, which had been on Interpol’s most-wanted list, …

Sao Tome convicts captain, two crew in illegal fishing case

A Sao Tome and Principe court won a key victory against illegal fishing by organised syndicates on Monday when it convicted the captain of a vessel and two crew members on a number of charges, an Interpol official said. Globally, illegal fishing cost at least an estimated $23 billion each year, with one in four fish thought to be caught …

U.S. Announces Plans to Combat Illegal Fishing

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced plans on Monday to step up the fight against illegal fishing, pollution and other crimes at sea, including the creation of two new national marine sanctuaries, one in Maryland and the other in Lake Michigan, the first in 15 years. Administration officials also said they intended to expand the use of satellites that track …

Antarctic Toothfish return to McMurdo Sound

A new scientific paper has been released following a study that began in 2013 to monitor toothfish abundance and investigate interactions between Antarctic toothfish, Weddell seals and killer whales in McMurdo Sound. Abstract: A dramatic reduction in catch rates of Antarctic toothfish in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, has led to conclusions that the commercial bottom longline fishery for toothfish in the Ross Sea …

MSC Reports reveal progress for Sustainable Seafood

Two new reports from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) show the progress being made to secure the future of the world’s oceans, and a plentiful supply of seafood for generations to come. With 29 per cent of the world’s oceans currently overfished, the reports show how commitments by seafood producers, retailers and consumers are delivering lasting improvements to the sustainability …

Who allowed poacher ship to flee Phuket?

Accusations continue to fly over the escape from Phuket waters of a pirate cargo ship carrying a valuable load of fish, poached from Antarctic waters. How did the Taishan, formerly the Kunlun, slip away in breach of international law – and who knew that the ageing rustbucket had reloaded plenty of fuel? How has the ancient vessel continued to elude …

Phuket police confirm probe underway into missing Kunlun

Police have finally confirmed that an investigation is underway into the disappearance of the illegal Antarctic trawler Kunlun, also known as the Taishan, which vanished from Phuket waters last week. Details of the missing vessel, its crew and the whereabouts of its multi-million-baht prized cargo of illegal toothfish might be revealed as soon as Monday, The Phuket News has been …

INTERPOL meeting in Singapore gathers fisheries investigators

toothfish interpol

INTERPOL has brought together investigators from nine countries investigating the operations of a fleet of vessels allegedly illegally fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica to share information from ongoing investigations and successful prosecutions. With such investigations not exclusively related to fisheries offences and often including associated frauds or criminal activity, the aim of the INTERPOL meeting (18 …

INTERPOL hold training program for SE Asian ports

toothfish interpol

Assisting member countries build investigative capacity on illegal fishing and the illegal trade in living marine species was the focus of recent INTERPOL training programmes in Indonesia and the Philippines. During both five-day courses, INTERPOL officials provided training on a range of fisheries and maritime issues including legal frameworks, health and safety in vessel boarding and inspections, verification of vessel …

Leading Benchmark for Toothfish

toothfish estremar

EstreMar‘s operations began in Argentina in 1992 in the city of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego province, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur. EstreMar has over 20 years of experience in the fishing industry. EstreMar is considered a leading dealer and benchmark for Toothfish and, one of the leading fisheries in the country. The company harvests and processes onboard several species, …

ILLEGAL FISHING OPERATION FINED OVER $2 MILLION

The Australian Government welcomes news that the crew of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel Perlon – detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in May this year – has been convicted of offences under the Malaysian Fisheries Act. A Malaysian court has fined the master and the crew of the Perlon approximately AUD $600,000 and ordered forfeiture of the catch valued …

Thunder Captain And Officers Face Justice In The Wake Of Operation Icefish

The Captain, Chief Engineer and Second Mechanic of the notorious poaching vessel, Thunder, have been charged with counts of pollution, reckless driving, forgery and negligence in São Tomé and Príncipe. The charges were handed down in a local court on Friday following a three-month investigation into the events surrounding the sinking of the poaching vessel in the waters off the …

IUU toothfish vessel, Kunlun, could sail with new Captain

The epic pursuit of marine poachers by the Sea Shepherd has taken a new turn in Thailand with the ship that took an illegal haul of toothfish before fleeing from Antarctic waters set to regain its cargo and sail on. The ancient vessel Taishan, at present anchored off Phuket, has a new captain and preparations are being made to depart, …

Toothfish fisheries lead the world

The inaugural COLTO industry and science workshop successfully concluded in Alesund, Norway with a unique pathway agreed to enhance collaboration and innovation between fishers, scientists, gear technologists, and marketers. Participants from 12 nations put aside any competitive and professional differences, and created a world-leading partnership on international fisheries resources management and conservation. “The results were astounding”, said the Chair of …

Ross Sea Toothfish catch is managed with science, expert says

The Antarctic toothfish is being sustainably caught in the Ross Sea and the catch is still many years away from reaching the minimum level to safeguard its viability, a leading scientist says. Dr Stuart Hanchet,  who works for NIWA,  has been researching the high-value species for 15 years.  He told 90 people attending a Nelson Science Society event in a …

Govt to sanction Spanish companies and crew for pirate fishing

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) has agreed to start Operation Sparrow disciplinary process, once the analysis and classification of thousands of documents that have been collected during the development of this operation is completed. This operation, which is unprecedented internationally, was carried out thanks to the reform of the State’s Marine Fisheries Act, adopted in December 2014. …

IUU fishing: Spain announces €11 million penalties against Galicia syndicate

Spanish government last Friday announced penalties that could reach more than €11 million against Spanish nationals, including companies involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. An EU coalition of three international NGOs, including Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana and WWF described the fines as a historic moment in the battle against IUU fishing and are calling on other EU member …

Illegal fishing prosecutions a ‘giant step forward’

Prosecutions against those behind fishing vessels that tangled with the New Zealand navy have been hailed as a “giant step forward” by Foreign Minister Murray McCully. Spanish authorities will bring prosecutions against against those responsible for fishing vessels – the Kunlun, Yongding, Songhua and Tiantai – associated with the Vidal Armadores syndicate. “While it is too early to declare victory, …

The Hunt for the Last Chilean Sea Bass Poachers

It was Feb. 2, on a freezing sea 80 miles from the Antarctic coast. The wind was blowing at a blustery 20 knots, the sky was dark gray, and the sea was full of ice. “It was one of those murky days that don’t make you very happy you’re in Antarctica,” recalled Siddharth Chakravarty, the 32-year-old captain of the Sam …

Inaugural Toothfish Industry-Science Workshop

The Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO), are pleased to announce that next week will see the inaugural Toothfish Industry-Science Workshop taking place in Aalesund, Norway.  The workshop is being generously sponsored by Norwegian fishing gear suppliers, A.S. Fiskevegn and Mustad Autoline. The workshop will bring together the major players in the toothfish industry, including representatives from 9 of the …

Toothfish vs Colossal squid – clash of the deep-sea titans

Would make some epic calamari (Image: New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries) You wouldn’t want to get caught between these two sea monsters. This pair of massive deep-water foes are waging war in Antarctic waters, and it’s eat or be eaten. Given it weighs up to half a tonne and measures more than 2.5 metres in length without taking into account …

Chile catches entire Patagonian toothfish quota in just four months

Chile’s industrial fleet has caught the total allowable catch (TAC) of Patagonian toothfish for this year in just four months, as industry is calling on local authorities for a quota extension. This year’s TAC for industrial vessels was set at 1,100 metric tons. The fishing season was expected to run from January to May and then from September to December, …

Military police board last two toothfish poachers in Cabo Verde

Military and police have boarded the last two Interpol-wanted toothfish poaching vessels, Songhua and Yongding, in Cabo Verde, an archipelago state off the northwest coast of Africa. The action took place thanks to intelligence provided to international law enforcement by Sea Shepherd, which had been gathered two days prior in a remarkable set of chance circumstances. On Wednesday May 20 at …

Sanford welcomes news of Perlon detention

New Zealand fishing company Sanford is welcoming news that a Nigerian registered vessel has been detained in Malaysia and 330 tons of toothfish confiscated from it. Sanford is one of only two New Zealand companies permitted to source toothfish from the Ross Sea fishery. Sanford Chief Operations Officer, Greg Johansson, says the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living …

Patagonian toothfish: Fighting illegal fishing and protecting albatross

Prince Charles’ letters, released last week, refer to the need to protect Patagonian toothfish. But what is so important about this creature and how have things changed since Prince Charles wrote of its plight to the then environment minister in October 2004? Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, lives in the cold waters of the Atlantic and sub-Antarctic. …

Open letter to HRH, the Prince of Wales

15th May 2015 His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales Clarence House London, SW1A 1BA UNITED KINGDOM To His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales Open letter Dear Sir, The Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators, who represent over 90% of the world’s toothfish catch, would like to thank you for your concerns raised in October 2004, about Patagonian toothfish fisheries, …