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, …

It can be done

It’s not always an easy thing to do but sometimes you have change your mind. I’ve never been a fan of Sea Shepherd. I’ve followed their activities and some of their whackier antics over the years. Fishing News International has described them as eco-pirates; irresponsible extremists who shouldn’t be allowed in charge of a ship, endangering lives and livelihoods, often in pursuit of issues that didn’t need pursuing. …

IUU toothfish vessel, Perlon, nabbed in Malaysia

A Nigeria-registered vessel has been detained and some 330 tonnes of Antarctic toothfish confiscated. The seizure by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, the biggest this year, is believed to be worth more than RM23mil, as the present price of the fish is RM70 per kg. The antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) is a species of cod icefish found in the Southern …

AFMA joins forces with INTERPOL

AFMA and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) have joined forces to improve control over illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels and to assist countries in South-East Asia to close off their ports to IUU vessels. In February 2015 INTERPOL invited AFMA to participate in training for investigators of fisheries crime in South-East Asia. The training was hosted by the …

Australian Customs nabs notorious illegal toothfish vessel

Australian authorities have pounced on a notorious illegal fishing vessel suspected of illegally fishing for toothfish in the southern oceans. The 67-metre vessel, known as the Perlon, was boarded on Wednesday by officers from Customs and Border Protection and the Australian Defence Force about 2900 nautical miles west of the Australian mainland, in the region west of the Cocos Islands. …

18th April 2015: Pirate fishing ship scuttling a victory

The recent release of a White House action plan on illegal, under-reported, unregulated fishing sets out the need to ­address this global challenge ­before it’s too late. The total value of economic losses from IUU fishing is estimated to range from $10 billion to $23.5bn annually. The end last week of the longest pursuit of a poacher in ­maritime history, surpassing …

16th April 2015: Tides turn against IUU vessels in SE Asia

Siddharth Chakravarty, captain of The Steve Irwin, has been working for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and battling on the frontlines of marine conservation since 2011. Since then, he and his crew have managed to combat Japanese whalers, patrol the Bluefin Tuna fishing season, protect the Whale Sanctuary in the Southern Ocean, save sharks in the South Pacific and more. …

7th April 2015: Thunder captain cheered as toothfish pirate ship sank

The captain of an alleged pirate ship accused of fishing illegally in Antarctic waters clapped and cheered as his vessel sank off the West African coast overnight, an indication that the ship had been deliberately scuttled, according to Sea Shepherd activists. In what was described as a “weird and surreal” experience, Sea Shepherd crew members have now rescued 40 people …

6th April 2015: Illegal toothfish vessel, Thunder, sinks

All officers and crew have abandoned the THUNDER. Three crew members from the BOB BARKER have boarded the THUNDER. The BOB BARKER boarding party were able to secure and remove a computer, mobile phones and charts from the THUNDER. The logbook seems to have been removed or destroyed. Secured evidence also included a whole toothfish now in the freezer of …

2nd April 2015: Australian agencies stopping illegal fishing

David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, congratulated Australian agencies involved in operations which have led to the apprehension in Malaysia of the illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing boat, the Viking. “I understand the work done by officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the Border Protection Command Service, and the Australian Antarctic Division has been central to actions taken …

2nd April 2015: International cooperation on illegal toothfish fishing reaps benefits

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed action by Malaysian authorities who have detained the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) listed fishing vessel Viking. Senator Colbeck said Australia fully supports Malaysian authorities taking strong action against IUU fishing and offers its support as part of the ongoing investigation. “The vessel has a long history of IUU fishing …

31st March 2015: Recruitment variability in Patagonian toothfish around South Georgia

The Patagonian toothfish, Dissostichus eleginoides, is a deep-water nototheniid fish, endemic to the Southern hemisphere. It supports a valuable fishery within the waters of the UK overseas territory of South Georgia. Relatively little is known about ideal breeding conditions, although there are indications that environmental factors play a key role. Variability in recruitment has been linked to local environmental conditions …

27th March 2015: Phuket officials charge captain of illegal Antarctic toothfish vessel

PHUKET: Officials have charged the Peruvian captain of an illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel for falsely reporting the cargo of his ship as he attempted to offload 182 tonnes of Antarctic toothfish illegally caught in the Southern Ocean. The ship, which recently had its name changed from Kunlun to Taishan, had already fled from the navies of New Zealand …

25th March 2015: Rogue ship a good catch

The detention of an infamous illegal toothfish fishing vessel off Phuket, the Kunlun, deserves special notice and praise. Authorities apprehended the ugly-looking ship after it was chased by various nations for years. To continue reading article, see Rogue Ship a Good Catch, courtesy of Bangkok Post.

16th March 2015: Spain tackles IUU fishing

The Spanish government is launching an investigation into several companies for alleged links to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing under its new fisheries law. This is the first time that Spain has enforced its new fisheries law, which came into effect earlier this year and allows Spanish authorities to sanction nationals guilty of involvement in IUU fishing. The law …

17th March 2015: Thailand detains illegal fishing vessel, Kunlun

Thai officials in Phuket have detained the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) listed fishing vessel Kunlun for investigation. The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck both welcomed the decision by Thai officials and said Australia fully supports the on-going investigation. The Kunlun was intercepted by the …

13th March 2015: Spanish Ministry storms Vidal Shipowners offices on suspect of pirate links

Shipowners Vidal, the Galician company, questioned on Wednesday for hours in Ribeira (A Coruña) as part of Operation Sparrow, who investigates companies based in A Coruña on suspicion of links with vessels included in the list of illegal fishing in the Convention for the Conservation of Marine Living Resources in the Antarctic (CCAMLR), and was sentenced in recent years up to 7 …

11th March 2015: Scientists return from successful Antarctic research voyage

NIWA deepwater research vessel Tangaroa docks in Wellington today to complete a successful six-week New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems voyage. “It is good to be home safe and sound” said Voyage Leader Dr Richard O’Driscoll, “Antarctica is a tough environment and we’ve had to work around some difficult ice conditions during the voyage.” Beyond the imperative of returning safely, Dr O’Driscoll …

10th March 2015: Safeway Canada shuns sustainable toothfish

The Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators, COLTO, today responded to the many inaccuracies in a recent article, ‘NZ toothfish exports face boycott in North America‘. The article by Michael Field, highlights a four year old decision by Safeway Canada to not sell Antarctic toothfish (aka Chilean seabass) if it came from the Ross Sea, based on support for a Marine …

5th March 2015: Austral CEO congratulates Australian Government for boarding IUU vessel

David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, today extended his congratulations to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for their boarding of the IUU vessel, Kunlun, last Friday. This action, continues from the recent positive efforts of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Icefish, where they have stopped the IUU vessel, Thunder, from illegally fishing since mid-December, as well as the Royal New …

3rd March 2015: Strange creatures of the Antarctic waters

Antarctic trawl nets deep data from NIWA on Vimeo. Researchers on board the Niwa research ship Tangaroa are pulling an array of strange creatures out of icy Antarctic waters as they investigate the health of the foodweb supporting the prized commercial species toothfish. The scientists have been trawling the central Ross Sea about 72 degrees south in an area where …

27th February 2015: Australian Customs board IUU vessel, Kunlun

The Australian Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting resources in the Southern Ocean with the interception and boarding of a fishing vessel believed to have been operating under a false flag and in defiance of international conventions. Officers from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) boarded and searched the internationally listed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing …

2nd Feb 2015: Toothfish poachers in Australian waters try to ram Sea Shepherd’s “Sam Simon”

Two illegal fishing boats that evaded the New Zealand navy are now in Australian waters near Antarctica, but it’s unclear whether local authorities will intervene. Conservation group Sea Shepherd on Monday said one of their ships patrolling the area, the Sam Simon, intercepted the Yongding and the Kunlun at 11.30am AEDT with prohibited fishing gear on its deck. It alleged …

16th January 2015: INTERPOL issue Purple Notice for 3 IUU vessels

At the request of New Zealand, INTERPOL Purple Notices have been issued to seek information on the individuals and networks behind three vessels fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean. The Purple Notices, which are used to seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals, have been circulated to all 190 INTERPOL member countries. …

13th Jan 2015: NZ Navy finds 3rd IUU toothfish vessel. COLTO Member urges arrest.

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 …

12th Jan 2015: NZ navy intercepts toothfish poachers

A New Zealand navy ship busted two boats illegally fishing for valuable toothfish in the Southern Ocean over the weekend. The HMNZS Wellington intercepted the poachers, claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea but previously linked to Spain, while patrolling the isolated waters. Fishing in the area is banned by an international convention to conserve Antarctic marine life. The first boat was sighted last Tuesday and …

5th January 2015: Antarctic Toothfish, lost – and found

Scientists from the University of Canterbury, the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), and the University of Illinois are working together at Scott Base to investigate the disappearance of large Antarctic toothfish from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The project, led by Canterbury’s Dr Regina Eisert, is examining the impact of fisheries and climate change on top predators in the …

22nd December 2014: De-Register Thunder – Company calls for Australian Government support

David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, today supported calls from Sea Shepherd for the Nigerian government to remove the known toothfish poaching boat, the Thunder, from its vessel registry. The Thunder has had a purple notice issued against it by Interpol, for continued actions that undermine the sustainable management of toothfish fisheries in Antarctic waters.   This Purple Notice calls for …

22nd December 2014: COLTO Member, Mustad, win 2014 WWF Smart Gear Competition

One of COLTO’s Associate Members, Mustad Autoline, have taken out the 2014 Smart Gear Competition. Developed in close cooperation with SaveWave and Mustad Autoline under Eurostars regulations, the SeaBird Saver is the answer to seabird bycatch longline fisheries.  The device emits a highly effective laser beam from the stern of the fishing vessel to keep birds away from the danger …