Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on June 2, 2008
I love drama on the high seas. And Greenpeace activists certainly delivered earlier this week, painting the word “pirate” on the side of a Taiwanese fishing boat in Pacific international waters. Greenpeace accused the long-line fishing vessel “of hunting down precious marine species — including an endangered turtle — in international waters north-east of the Solomon Islands”, an area Greenpeace wants declared as marine reserves.
Boarding rubber duckies launched from their mother ship, the Esperanza, Greenpeace activists confronted the vessel called “Ho Tsai Fa 18” and began to “free the fish, sharks and endangered turtle caught on its hooks” as well as (possibly displaying pirate-like behavior themselves) taking one of the vessel’s radio beacons and a fishing line. Greenpeace resorted to these drastic measure due to inaction on behalf of international fishing authorities.
Said Greenpeace Australia Pacific campaigner Lagi Toribau: “We painted ‘pirate’ on the side of the vessel because even registered tuna vessels, like this one, blur the line between legal and illegal fishing. If the (Western and Central Pacific) Fisheries Commission will not do their job and secure the future of this important marine life, then we will.”
The green group said “overfishing of bigeye and yellowfin tuna was threatening fish stocks, and too many turtles and sharks were being killed by longline vessels”. Greenpeace wants the waters around Nauru, Micronesia and the Cook Islands to be declared “high seas marine reserves”. As for the treasure… I mean, confiscated fishing equipment… Greenpeace says they will be returned at a later date.
(via NEWS.com.au Photos via: Greenpeace/ Jiri Rezac 2008 and Greenpeace / Paul Hilton)