Mauritius urged to deny vessel entry
Greenpeace has urged the Mauritian government to refuse port clearance for a South Korean vessel accused of illegal fishing in order to protect the Indian Ocean.
Owned by Dongwon Industries, the purse seine fishing boat, Premier, has been accused of illegal fishing off the coast of Africa and was found to be using falsified letters claiming it had permission to fish in the waters.
Despite this, the Mauritian government has granted permission for the vessel to sail to Port Louis.
In a letter to the Mauritian Prime Minister, Greenpeace demanded that the Premier be refused port entry and services. The organisation says that tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean needs to be protected from big tuna companies only interested in fast cash at the expense of a healthy marine environment.
Oliver Knowles, oceans campaigner, Greenpeace International, said: “The Mauritian government needs to follow other coastal states in the region that have already refused the vessels entry into their port. If Mauritius allows this vessel permission to enter it is a slap in the face of other states seriously fighting illegal fishing and a signal to the world that Port Louis is wide open for suspected illegal fishing operators.”Mauritius will host a meeting next month for the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) where issues to curb illegal fishing, compliance and sustainability of the region’s tuna fisheries will be discussed.
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