Philippine-flagged ship involved in illegal transshipment of tuna in the Pacific, Greenpeace says

Fishing ships from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia were involved in a large-scale transshipment of fish caught in the Pacific Ocean illegally, environmentalist group Greenpeace Southeast Asia said Wednesday.

Fishing ships from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia were involved in a large-scale transshipment of fish caught in the Pacific Ocean illegally, environmentalist group Greenpeace Southeast Asia said Wednesday.

 

In a press statement, Greenpeace said environmental activists have collected photo and video evidence showing "MV Heng Xing 1, a reefer sailing under the Cambodian flag, transshipping fish catches with two Indonesian tuna purse seine vessels (KM Starcki 10 and KM Starcki 11) and one Filipino reefer (Sal 19)."

 

Greenpeace activists found skipjack and yellow-fin tuna aboard the MV Heng Xing. Yellow-fin tuna is considered a near-threatened species under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

 

The multinational Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission regulates tuna fishing in the Pacific Commons to give tuna time to replenish and grown in the area. In April, the WCPFC partially lifted the ban for Philippine-flagged vessels subject to conditions like installing location trackers on ships fishing in the area.

 

"Transshipment between vessels is illegal in this area of the Pacific under WCPFC rules because it makes fish catch data and the management of key tuna resources very difficult. Often, this is a way for fishing operations to avoid paying fees to island nations, communities that need fish and income to continue surviving," Farah Obaidullah of Greenpeace International said.


Philippine and Indonesian vessels are bound by WCPFC rules. Vessels registered in Cambodia, which is not a member of the WCPFC, are not.


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