Exposed: suspected illegal fish carrier

Industry Database

Activists from Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior have exposed a ship suspected of violating Taiwanese fisheries laws moored in the port of Kaoshiung, Taiwan and called on the Taiwanese Fisheries Agency to investigate.

In 2004, Japan apprehended the fish carrier ship MV Lung Yuin for its involvement in large-scale illegal fishing and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has also documented its abuse of workers.

Furthermore, the vessel does not appear on Taiwan's list of foreign vessels that are majority-owned by Taiwanese entities, despite Greenpeace presenting evidence in September 2010 to the Taiwan Fisheries Agency, that the vessel and its owners were one of 276 vessels in violation of fishing regulations which require Taiwanese-owned vessels sailing under foreign flags to register with Taiwan authorities.

"To demonstrate that Taiwan is serious about controlling its vast fishing industry, it needs to investigate and as appropriate, prosecute the Lung Yuin and its owners according to Taiwan's laws. How can we be sure this vessel complies with international conservation measures in international waters, particularly in the Pacific, if it ignores even the simplest registrations in Taiwan?" asked Kao Yu Fen, Greenpeace East Asia Oceans Campaigner.

With some 1,940 vessels, Taiwan operates the largest fishing fleet in the Pacific Ocean, and a large part of its fleet, particularly longliners, relies on fish carriers such as the Lung Yuin for transfer of catches. This practice enables fish laundering of the already over-exploited Pacific bigeye and yellowfin tuna. Refrigerated vessels, or reefers, like Lung Yuin sustain the massive international tuna longline fleet at sea, allowing destructive overfishing to continue, says Greenpeace.

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