Fishy cod reefer the Mumrinskiy is back in town.
The Mumrinskiy returned to Holland in the early hours of last
Friday morning, and we decided to welcome her back! Normally a
ship's ETA is announced in advance and made public on port
Tracking down the Mumrinskiy
However in this case, the Mumrinskiy's expected arrival was not
published. Dutch inspection authorities, customs and port
authorities were not willing to divulge any information and it was
even denied that she was coming to the Netherlands. Once again she
had taken great pains to avoid inspection in Norwegian waters, and
once again she was carrying cod from the suspicious catch vessels
Yaroslavets, Kronshtadt, Solomboloa, Ponoy & Antares.
On Thursday morning however her ETAwas briefly made public on
the website and then quickly removed again. With the knowledge of
her arrival and the suspicions of her freight, we faxed (and
mailed) the Dutch Minister for the Environment and the Inspections
Authorities of her arrival and our demands. We have not yet
received a response. We again demanded a thorough inspection,
verifying catch data with the Norwegian and Russian authorities as
a minimum, in accordance with the new regulations imposed by the
North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). These
regulations will become compulsory in May 2007, but considering the
history of the Mumrinskiy, we think it's much smarter for Dutch
authorities to act now.
Turning a blind eye?
On Friday morning we set out in an inflatable to the harbour of
Velsen to document her arrival and offloading. Our Oceans
Campaigner Farah Obaidullah spoke with the buyer of the fish, the
second mate of the Mumrinskiy, the manager of the cold store, the
inspection agent and the police (who funnily enough escorted us
most of the way there). The Inspection authorities said that they
were conducting their routine inspection and that they did not wish
to comment on the legality of the fish.
Interestingly the buyer of the fish was not in the least
concerned about the legality of their newly purchased goods. This
again goes show how important it is that we have transparency in
the chain of custody of marine goods - from ship to shelf. Each
player has to take his or her responsibility in the fight against
Last August in the Dutch harbour of Eemshaven, our team onboard
the Arctic Sunrise targeted the Mumrinskiy carrying illegal cod
from the Barents Sea for offloading in the Netherlands. At the time
we had 9 activists chained to the ship and painted the words 'Stop
Pirate Fishing" on the side of it. Our demand was that the Dutch
inspection authorities carry out a thorough inspection of the
cargo, verifying the catch papers with the Russian and Norwegian
The Barents Sea is home to one of the world's last relatively
healthy cod populations, but even this stock is now being heavily
exploited. According to estimates from the International Council
for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) 25 percent of all cod
captured in the Barents Sea in 2005 was illegal. Pirate fishing
puts added pressure on fish stocks already struggling to recover
from intensive industrial fishing.
We do not believe Dutch authorities can continue to let this
organised fish crime happen, and call on all measures to avoid
illegal fish to be offloaded in Holland. And of course, we will
continue Defending Our Oceans against pirate fishing, in both
boiler suits and business suits.
Mumrinskiy Case Study
The case against the Mumrinskiy.
The full regulations that will become compulsory on May 1, 2007.