Posted on September 03, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Two Chinese-flagged Fishing Trawlers were arrested in Ghana on the August the 27th, over a number of alleged fishery violations.
The fishing vessels in question, are the Lao Yu 010 and the Victory 205; they’ve been charged with a series of violations, such as fishing without a fishing logbook and fishing within Gambia’s Special Management Area, which is reserved for local fishermen who use traditional fishing practices.
This was the result of a joint operation between Gambian Fisheries inspectors, Gambian Navy & the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. (SSCS), that goes by the name, Operation Gambian Coastal Defense.
During the operation, the joint forces participating in the operation employed over 12 different satellites from seven different countries in order to gain complete coverage of fishing activity within Gambian waters.
After gathering sufficient evidence, the inspectors boarded the Victory 205 and discovered that at least on two separate occasions in the last month, the vessel had been operating within Ghana’s Special Management Area, at a distance of 1.6 nautical miles from the coast.
Furthermore, the inspectors discovered that the living conditions inside the fishing trawler were below standard. More specifically, the crew members were made to sleep in a small crawl space between the engine room and the wheelhouse.
“Heated from the rising temperature of the engine room, the accommodation space was an oven with soiled mattresses and not enough space to even sit up,” reads the official statement on the Sea Shepherd website.
The Sea Shepherd has been working together with a number of countries in Africa, such as Gabon, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Tanzania, Benin and Namibia in order to counter the use of illegal fishing practices.
At the time of writing, Sea Shepherd has assisted in the arrest of over 34 vessels, over a series of crimes involving illegal fishing.