Russian pirate ship Mumrinskiy

© Greenpeace/Karel Zwaneveld. Activists paint 'Stop Pirate Fishing' on the side of the 'pirate' Russian ship Mumrinskiy

This morning, our activists managed to halt the unloading of a Russian ship, the Mumrinskiy at Eemshaven in the Netherlands. On board the ship was a cargo of illegally caught cod, stolen from the Barents Sea, set to be imported into the Netherlands. We want the AID (Inspection team of the Ministry of Agriculture) to investigate the ship and its papers.

The Barents Sea is home to one of the world's last relatively healthy cod populations - but the stock is now being heavily exploited. According to estimates from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), 26% of all cod caught in the Barents Sea in 2005 was illegal!

The usual method for 'laundering' the fish involves under-reporting their daily catches - then transhipping (transferring) some of the catch to a reefer (refrigerated cargo vessel) like the Mumrinskiy. These reefers then bring the stolen fish into Dutch ports, where landing documents are not verified, allowing the fish into the European market through Holland.

Dodgy as hell, eh? More news as we have it.

Update:

After a day of downpours, thunder and lightning, several activists were arrested (peacefully) - but quickly released. The Dutch military police had turned up with three trucks AND a catering truck, a film crew and lots of heavy cutting gear. The whole event was watched by a seal - no, not a US navy one, a real live pinniped!

The Arctic Sunrise team had discussions with the inspection authorities, customs & immigration, the Mumrinskiy, and the police - responses were positive, but now we have to get people to take real action on this issue...

(Thanks to Farah, Femke, Iris for all the info on this)