22 Sep 2015

Taiwan escorts "pirate" fishing boat home after Greenpeace bust

2:48 pm on 22 September 2015

A Taiwanese fishing boat is being escorted back to Taiwan after being busted for illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean.

Greenpeace activists prepare to board illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No 888. The Rainbow Warrior travels in the Pacific to expose out of control tuna fisheries. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses.
9 Sep, 2015

Greenpeace activists prepare to board illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No 888. Photo: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists say they discovered a falsified log book and almost 100 kilos of shark fins when they boarded the vessel on the high seas in the north west Pacific earlier this month.

Shark fins found in the freezer of the Shuen De Ching No.888. In total there were sacks containing 75 kilograms of shark fins from at least 42 sharks. Under Taiwanese law and Pacific fishing rules, shark fins may not exceed 5% of the weight of the shark catch. 9 Sep 2015

Shark fins found in the freezer of the Shuen De Ching No.888. Photo: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

The environmental group's Lagi Toribau says the Taiwan Fisheries Agency is now escorting the Shuen De Ching No 888 back to Taiwan where the ship faces suspension from operations for up to a year.

"We knew that their patrol boat was already in the Pacific Ocean. It was already somewhere close to where we were. It was just a matter of getting the political decision and the will of the Taiwanese government to instruct their patrol boat to come and inspect this vessel so we're quite happy with how things turned out but it could have been a little bit quicker."

Lagi Toribau says Greenpeace is calling for the vessel to be officially listed as a pirate vessel, banned from operating and its owners sanctioned.

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