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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Pirates of the Pacific sail through the 'donut holes'
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are pervasive in the high seas.
Unreported transshipments continue particularly in pockets known as the donut holes.
Pirate vessels operating in the region use the donut holes to avoid monitoring and enforcement and to transfer their catches without reporting.
All these were uncovered in three Greenpeace expeditions in the Western and Central Pacific that found vessels in international waters were either fishing, transiting or waiting for transhipment, refuelling and supplies.
Some vessels did not have valid fishing licenses or were not authorized to be in the region.
Several longline vessels encountered by Greenpeace did not possess valid fishing licenses in any of the Pacific island countries, using the high seas exclusively for their fishing operations.
Large amounts of shark fin and tails were recorded aboard these vessels.
These show the vulnerable and unregulated nature of the high seas, with illegal activity commonly occurring alongside legally licensed vessels in the donut holes.
The findings also clearly show, yet again, that allowing at-sea transhipments continues to be a major loophole that facilitates the unknown and unreported plundering of tuna resources from the region.
In the Pacific alone, the illegal and unmonitored catch is estimated to be around $134 to $400 million a year, or four times greater than the money Pacific island countries receive in access fees to their tuna resources.
The closure of the high-seas pockets is an important contribution to tuna conservation, as it will stop the use of these high seas areas as havens for illegal tuna fishing.
click to view source website
Ocean Areas/Pacific Ocean