illegal fishing

Australia provides Forum Fisheries with a plane

A new plane has been introduced, primarily to assist the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in monitoring illegal fishing activities in the region, and will be based at Faleolo International Airport.

Samoa Police Service said the plane will support Pacific Police Maritime patrol boats in "monitoring illegal fishing in our region."

It said it would also allow the monitoring of illegal activities in the Pacific, especially transnational crime threats.

Illegal fishing on Pacific leaders summit agenda

The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, known as PALM, is held in Japan every three years.

Japan's government hosts the PALM summits as a way to share its assistance programme with Pacific Island Forum countries.

Ahead of this summit, Tokyo said measures to help Pacific countries enforce maritime law within their maritime jurisdictions would be included in a joint statement for the eighth PALM meeting.

Pacific Island countries struggle to adequately police their exclusive economic zones which have become subject to regular incursions by so-called Vietnamese blue boats.

$4 million fine for illegally fishing in protected area

The Kiribati Fisheries Administrative Penalty Committee imposed the fine for fishing illegally in Kiribati waters.

The vessel is owned by a Taiwanese businessman based in the Marshall Islands.

The Kiribati Police Maritime Unit Superintendent Officer Commanding John Mote told Radio Kiribati News the vessel was fined after being spotted fishing within PIPA waters in 2015 but has since managed to escape arrest.

The vessel was finally apprehended by Kiribati authorities a few weeks ago.

NZ naval ship to deploy to Fiji to counter illegal fishing

Gerry Brownlee met his Fijian counterpart, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, at a South Pacific defence ministers' meeting in Auckland yesterday to discuss issues including maritime surveillance.

He said an inshore patrol vessel will be deployed to Fiji for six months in May to combat the widespread problem.

According to Mr Brownlee, the increase in illegal fishing vessels from Vietnam, also known as "blue boats", required counter-action.

Indonesia destroys 81 foreign ships for illegal fishing

The world's largest archipelago nation has taken a tough stance against illegal fishing since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in 2014. Authorities have sunk 317 foreign vessels since then, including the most recent.
The ships were blown up at sea in 12 locations around the archipelago on Saturday.

New Caledonia catches more Vietnamese poachers

According to the public broadcaster, a French surveillance aircraft spotted two boats near Ouvea after which a naval vessel intercepted them to escort them to Noumea.

Reports said a Vietnamese fisherman, who was in a serious condition after a suspected diving accident, was immediately taken off and flown by helicopter to hospital.

Two other blue boats were seen near Belep and the navy succeeded in catching one of them.

A week earlier, French surveillance teams helped Solomon Islands catch three blue boats fishing illegally.

Vietnamese blueboats caught in Solomon Islands

The arrests were made on Sunday by police and fisheries officers.

A police statement said the boats were caught fishing illegally off the reef Indespensable Reef about 50 kilometres south of Rennell Island.

A total of 43 crew members were detained.

The arrests came after police received reports of blue boat activity from communities in Makira Province.

Pacific surveillance operation picks up Illegal fishers

Nine Pacific countries ran Operation Rai Balang 2017 which co-ordinated out of the Forum Fisheries Agency surveillance centre in Solomon Islands.

Operation Rai Balang 2017 covered 14.7 million square km and saw a total of 918 detections of fisheries vessels, 93 aircraft sightings, and 50 boardings 30 of them at sea.

Of the seven arrests five recorded in Vanuatu were long liners flagged to China with minor infringements.

In FSM, a purse seiner flagged to China allegedly had its vessel monitoring system turned off at the time of its inspection.

Group warns of 'trans-shipping' dangers in Pacific

Trans-shipping means fishing boats can stay at sea for an extended period of time, in some cases more than a year, by transferring their stock to another boat and receiving fuel and supplies.

The US-based group, Oceana, said that practice could often involve the laundering of fish, human rights abuses, and labour violations.

Its senior campaign director, Beth Lowell, said trans-shipping was a huge problem around the world and it was also likely to be happening in the Pacific due to its large tuna fisheries.

New Caledonia aims to deter poachers

The public broadcaster said the blue fishing boats, each with more than a dozen sailors on board, were caught off Belep in the very north.

It said maritime police impaired the boats' ability to fish for several weeks.

The catch has been seized and will be sold to the public.

Unlike in other countries, the law in New Caledonia doesn't allow for the destruction of poachers' boats.

The authorities hope their operations will succeed in curbing illegal fishing.

Photo: Copyright: aquafun / 123RF Stock Photo