Pirate vessel wanted for illegal fishing

Discovery News
9 September, 2013

INTERPOL, the global police network, has issued an alert seeking information on a rogue fishing vessel believed to have been taking fish illegally for over a decade. According to the alert, the vessel – a 70-meter (230 feet) long trawler known as “Snake” – has operated under 12 different names in the past 10 years, and been registered under the flag of at least eight different countries. It is suspected of continuing to fish in the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Southern and Central Africa.

The “Snake” has been blacklisted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) since 2004, and by the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) since 2007. Because of concerns that the ship’s activities are continuing, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries requested the issuance of a notice – the first to be issued for a fishing vessel, and the first under Project SCALE, which INTERPOL launched earlier this year in cooperation with Norway and the Pew Charitable Trusts to specifically hunt down illegal fishing operations.

“This is the first time INTERPOL’s network has been used to combat illegal fishing. Cooperation through INTERPOL is a new tool in the fight against fisheries crime, and I am glad that Norway has been able to take on a leading role in this cooperation,” said Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Norway’s Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.

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