Pirates Of The Pacific

Yesterday, Greenpeace Australia activists came across a ship that had no markings, and therefore no state to which it is flagged but most of the crew including the Captain were Filipinos. It was purse seining illegally in high seas pocket one, close to Indonesia. We filmed it bringing its haul of tuna on board and illegally transshipping its catch (transferring it to another boat).

After receiving no reply to radio calls to both ships, Greenpeace activists in inflatable boats approached the ships to intervene in the transshipment, paint ‘Pirate’ on the side of the fishing vessel, and eventually went on board the fishing vessel to talk with the Captain.

In dollar terms, illegal fishing is estimated to cost the Pacific region up to $1.7 billion per year.

Fishing nations need to reign in vessels that break the law and support Pacific efforts to clamp down on illegal and unsustainable fishing. This means closing the high seas pockets to all industrial fishing and strong measures to ensure those who break the rules don’t do so again.

Greenpeace activists chase an illegal, unregistered and unlicensed (IUU) purse seine fishing vessel on the high seas, close to the border with Indonesia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), 24 November 2011. The pirate fishing vessel, which had no discernible markings or name visible on the hull, was painted with word 'Pirate' by the activists. Greenpeace earlier caught the vessel breaching international law by trans-shipping large quantities of tuna onto a reefer, or cold-storage ship, in international waters. Purse seining on the high seas is illegal since an agreement was signed in 2008. In addition to breaking international law, the fishing of juvenile yellowfin tuna is unsustainable. Greenpeace is in the Western and Central Pacific ocean on the 'Defending Our Pacific' expedition to campaign for the establishment of a network of marine reserves and an end to overfishing.