David Carter, CEO of Austral Fisheries, today extended his congratulations to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for their boarding of the IUU vessel, Kunlun, last Friday.
This action, continues from the recent positive efforts of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Icefish, where they have stopped the IUU vessel, Thunder, from illegally fishing since mid-December, as well as the Royal New Zealand Navy for gathering evidence against three more vessels (including the Kunlun) in early January that were fishing illegally for toothfish inside the CCAMLR Convention area.
“These four vessels are the last vestiges of IUU fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean”, Carter said. “We, along with CCAMLR, Government agencies, industry and NGOs have been fighting diligently against these unscrupulous operators for far too long and it is encouraging to see such positive action from Australia, New Zealand, and Sea Shepherd – Austral Fisheries extends our thanks.”
It is hoped that there will be enough evidence gathered against these four vessels, all of which have Interpol Purple Notices issued against them, for an arrest when they return to port.
Carter went on to say this can only mean good news for toothfish fisheries, of which over 60% are independently certified as sustainable and well managed by the Marine Stewardship Council, and rated either ‘Best Choice’ or a ‘Good Alternative’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.