Piratfiskebåt sjönk

Fiskebåten Thunder, en av världens mest kända piratfiskebåtar har i månader bevakats och följts av miljöorganisationen Sea Shepherd, sjönk på djupt vatten i Guineabukten utanför Västafrika igår:

Environmentalist group Sea Shepherd had been tailing the Thunder — subject of an Interpol ”purple notice” for suspected fraud and fisheries-related crimes — since its ship the Bob Barker encountered it in the Southern Ocean several months ago.

The pursuit ended early Monday in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of west Africa, when the Bob Barker received a distress call from the Thunder.

”We were literally a few hundred meters away; they said the ship was sinking and they were abandoning the Thunder,” said Sea Shepherd spokesman Adam Burling.

”We invited the crew — 40 of them — on board, had a medical officer check them over, provided them with food and water.”

Sjunkande fiskebåten Thunder

Sjunkande fiskebåten Thunder

Sea Shepherd misstänker att båten sänktes avsiktligt för att undanröja möjligheter att bevisa tjuvfiske:

Bob Barker Captain Peter Hammarstedt said the crew rescued from the ship had been handed over to the Sao Tome coastguard early Tuesday.

He said he hoped the authorities would work with Interpol to prosecute those operating the vessel.

”We obviously want to see the captain of the Thunder prosecuted for his offenses,” he told CNN by phone from the Bob Barker, at sea to the west of Sao Tome.

Hammarstedt said he believed the Thunder was deliberately sunk to destroy physical evidence of illegal fishing.

”I’m 100% confident that the captain of the Thunder destroyed his own ship,” he said.

Hammarstedt said he had managed to send three crew members aboard the abandoned Thunder before it went down.

”Usually what happens when a vessel is sinking is the master will ensure all compartments and hatches are shut so as to maintain buoyancy,” he said.

”On the Thunder, all the hatches had been opened, including the hatch leading to the fish hold.”

Thunder är en av sex fiskebåtar som Sea Shepherd kallar ”De sex banditerna”:

The Viking is one of the six remaining illegal, unregulated, unreported (IUU) fishing vessels – which Sea Shepherd calls the “Bandit 6” – that are known to target vulnerable toothfish in the waters surrounding Antarctica, and is the second vessel of the six that has been detained by authorities this month.

The Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker, is currently engaged in a record-breaking pursuit of the most notorious of the “Bandit 6” vessels, the Thunder, which prior to it being stripped of its registration last week, was also flagged to Nigeria.

The Viking, like its five counterparts, has a long history of illegal fishing. In 2013, the vessel, then called Snake,was the first vessel to be issued with an Interpol Purple Notice for fishing-related violations following a petition from authorities in Norway. The owners and operators of the vessel are suspected of violating national laws and regulations, as well as international conventions by engaging in fraud and fisheries-related crimes.

While Sea Shepherd applauds the detention of the Viking, the organisation is now appealing to relevant authorities to ensure that the owners and officers of the vessel are prosecuted, the vessel scrapped and its catch confiscated.

Förutom Thunder (660) och Viking (1 322) hör Kunlun (656), Songhua (1 016), Yongding (1 047) och Perlon (1 185). Alla båtarna har någon gång under sin existens varit knutna till något spansk företag, exempelvis Vidal Armadores och Juan A Argibay Perez. För 10 år sen fanns det fler än dubbelt så många piratfiskebåtar som ägnade sig åt det illegala fisket av tandfisk som dessa. Med Thunders undergång finns det nu bara 5 båtar kvar och av dem är en båt fängslad i Malaysia, det är Viking och en fängslad i Thailand. I Thailand har besättningsmän och företag ställts inför rätta. För att dölja sina förehavanden har båtarna ständigt och jämt bytt namn och flagga.

Songhua

Songhua när den hette nåt annat.

När det inte finns några piratfiskebåtar av denna typ kvar innebär det förstås inte att allt tjuvfiske är borta. Det finns ett omfattande tjuvfiske med slavarbetskraft i Sydostasien. I det storskaliga tjuvfisket är det spanska företag som länge varit ledande medan det i det illegala fisket i Sydostasien framförallt handlar om thailändska bolag. Besättningarna på alla båtar är dock i allmänhet alltid från Sydostasien. Från Burma, Indonesien etc.

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