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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
NGOs lodge concern over bluefin tuna pirate fishing
Conservation organisations WWF and Greenpeace have taken their concerns over pirate fishing to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
At the beginning of the bluefin tuna fishing season, WWF says its sources have already identified two pirate purse seine vessels operating in Mediterranean waters.
The unregistered vessels, originally flagged as Bolivian and docked in the European port of Malta, were then reflagged as Libyan (using duplicate names of boats already in use) and set sail to plunder bluefin tuna from the Mediterranean, the organisation claims.
WWF sources indicate that French, Maltese and Libyan interests are most likely related to these vessels.
"Having repeatedly requested clarification from the European Commission about these pirates, conservation organisations WWF and Greenpeace have submitted a formal joint expression of concern to the body tasked with managing this fishery - the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) - to inform all Contracting Parties of the alarming anomaly," a statement issued by Greenpeace said.
"How can European authorities turn a blind eye to these rogue vessels? This catastrophic fishery - which should never have been allowed to open this year - is made many times worse by the illegal fishing that is clearly continuing," says Dr Sergi Tudela, head of fisheries at WWF Mediterranean.
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