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East Timor Police & Sea Shepherd Raid Shark Fishing Fleet
By Joanna Lentini, September 12, 2017 @ 07:40 PM (EST)
Source: Sea Shepherd

Gary Stokes, Asia Director for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with a zebra shark

On the southern edge of Southeast Asia, during the early morning hours of September 9, 2017, Sea Shepherd and the East Timor National Police performed a raid on a fishing fleet belonging to Hong Kong Fisheries/Pingtan Marine Enterprises. Upon request, the East Timor police were shuttled to the vessels by the Sea Shepherd’s M/V Ocean Warrior and their speedboats to perform the raid.

Sea Shepherd had been following and documenting the fleet’s activities, which they later brought to local police. As the authorities conducted the raid, drones were flown overhead to document the event. The fleet of 15 vessels was caught with anchored gill nets in the sea—targeting sharks. Authorities found the majority of the catch to be a variety of shark species along with some pieces of damaged coral.

Apparently, the same ship was seen in the beginning of the year transferring sharks to the infamous vessel, Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, which last month was found illegally fishing within the perimeter of the Galápagos National Park. Despite outrage from the East Timorese, nothing was done in February to stop the fishermen.

When authorities boarded the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 in August, they uncovered 300 tons of sharks—roughly 6,000 sharks—all captured via longliners. The crew were arrested and are now in jail in Ecuador; the government confiscated the boat, which will be auctioned off. Sea Shepherd worries the crew in East Timor will be set free as a result of corrupt officials.

Read more here



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