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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Victory - pirates in deep deep trouble
Las Palmas, Spain After a chase of over 1000 miles, a six day occupation and hours of diplomatic negotiations, Spain has finally agreed to declare the cargo from the "Binar 4" - 200 tonnes of fish stolen from West Africa - illegal. Guinean officials also announced they would be fining the owners and operators of the pirate vessel.
After branding the ship with "stolen fish", our climbers occupied the "Binar 4" in the notorious pirate fishing port of Las Palmas for nearly 150 hours. When the announcement was made the last two activists descended to cheers from the gathered crowd, tired but still smiling.
During the time the Esperanza was patrolling the waters of West Africa, 104 foreign flagged vessels, from Korea, China, Italy, Liberia and Belize were documented. Nearly half were engaged in or linked to illegal fishing activities. The "Binar 4" was taking fish from ships licensed to fish, but all the vessels involved had broken the laws concerning transshipments.
In every ocean, every day fish are being stolen. That means that all governments must act every day to combat it, said Sarah Duthie of Greenpeace. We are delighted that the authorities have taken action against this illegal reefer, but this can only be the beginning, not the end. If Greenpeace and the Environmental Justice Foundation had not acted then Spain would not have done anything to stop this cargo being sold across Europe.
Fining the Binar 4 sends a strong signal to other pirate operators, but it is only a fraction of the humanitarian and environmental cost, said Helene Bours of the Environmental Justice Foundation. West Africa depends on fish for food and income, but it is the only regional in the world where consumption is falling.
According to the High Seas Task Force on Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated (IUU or pirate) fishing, up to 20 percent of the global catch is taken illegally as much as US$9 billion dollars. Greenpeace and the Environmental Justice Foundation are working together to expose the pirate fishing fleets that operate without sanction across the globe. Together they are demanding that governments close ports to ban pirates, deny them access to markets and prosecute companies supporting them.
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Political processes/High Seas Task Force
East Asia/South Korea