‘Stop the slaughter’ EJF tells Taiwan

The EJF is concerned about Taiwan's illegal slaughter of dolphins, turtles and sharks Photo: EJF The EJF is concerned about Taiwan's illegal slaughter of dolphins, turtles and sharks Photo: EJF

Dolphins and turtles are being killed and sharks illegally finned to support Taiwan’s tuna export industry, reports the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

In a new investigation, EJF spoke to Indonesian crew members from five longline vessels all either flying a Taiwanese flag or linked to Taiwanese ownership.

On all five boats the crew reported being ordered to remove shark fins and throw the bodies overboard, a practice which is banned by Taiwan. Some of the vessels also illegally caught dolphins to use as shark bait. Around 300 dolphins, which are protected under Taiwanese law, were killed in this way according to the crew.

Aboard another vessel, which was under Taiwanese ownership but flying a Panamanian flag, the crew reported illegally killing turtles and dolphins.

EJF’s executive director, Steve Trent, commented: “Killing dolphins to catch sharks, this is madness: rogue Taiwanese fishing vessels are ripping the heart out of our oceans.”

“These illegal, unsustainable and brutally cruel activities are being enabled by the Taiwanese authorities’ failure to act. Only three months ago EJF was reporting gross human rights violations aboard Taiwanese vessels, now we have exposed the shocking illegal exploitation of wildlife by the same fleet. “

“Action needs to be taken to stop the slaughter,” he concluded.

EJF is calling for Taiwan to sign up to the ten principles for fisheries transparency and for immediate action to be taken to investigate and prosecute vessels and companies alleged to be involved in illegal fishing and human rights abuses.

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