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  • Writer's pictureShark Guardian

Slipping through the net

Over the last few months, Shark Guardian investigators have been busy digging out evidence of systematic shark finning taking place in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). What we dug out is nothing less than shocking.

Our main finding is that observers on board fishing boats in the WCPO are having their official reports of shark finning incidents and other malpractices routinely ignored by the authorities, and that these incidents have been occurring in a systematic way – even on board vessels certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We also found that as well as observer reports on the decimation of sharks being ignored, observer reports on manta rays, whales and dolphins caught as by-catch are also being ignored.

Other critical incidents highlighted in our new report include:-

  • Fishing boats deliberately setting their nets around schools of tuna associated with live whales or whale sharks

  • Inappropriate treatment of Species of Special Interest (SSI), including cetaceans, whale sharks and manta rays caught inside nets and landed on deck dead or dying due to negligence

  • A helicopter illegally dumped at sea

  • Violations of observer rights

  • Fishing on highly environmentally destructive Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) during specified FAD closure period

  • High grading (discarding the on-board catch to make room for better quality, larger size fish or for more marketable species)

  • Discrepancies in daily catch and effort reporting by the vessel

Download PDF • 3.69MB

VIDEO: Helicopter being dumped at sea:

VIDEO: Caught ray


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