Chinese-flagged boats found illegally fishing near New Zealand's EEZ.

Discussion in 'East Asia & The Pacific' started by Cossack25A1, Aug 7, 2016.

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  1. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

    Oct 22, 2015
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    Collecting Waifus.
    Chinese-flagged fishing vessels caught out near exclusive NZ waters

    Last updated 10:04, August 5 2016

    There has been drama on the high seas after the New Zealand navy and government officials boarded two Chinese flagged fishing vessels suspected of serious fishing violations near New Zealand waters.

    One of them was caught with an illegal haul of highly lucrative Southern Blue Fin Tuna.

    The boats are understood to have attracted attention after being spotted near New Zealand's exclusive economic zone during an air force surveillance flight.

    The Southern Blue Fin Tuna is so highly prized, one Japanese sushi chain recently paid more than $100,000 for a single 441-pound fish.

    The Government is understood to have been briefed this week that two Chinese flagged vessels had been found committing serious fishing violations near New Zealand's exclusive economic zone during routine operations conducted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and navy and air force personnel.
    A spokeswoman for MPI confirmed a "range of alleged fishing violations were detected".

    "The relevant flag states are now required under international law to investigate the alleged offending and apply sanctions where appropriate."

    All serious violations were also reported to the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

    "Details of the investigations and the countries involved are never identified prior to investigations of this nature being completed as it could undermine the investigative process that the flag state authorities are currently carrying out.

    "All countries involved have assured the New Zealand authorities that investigations are being carried out and will report back to us and the WCPFC as soon as they are completed."

    Fairfax Media understands two of the boats are the Chinese-flagged Da Yang 15 and the Da Yang 16.

    "Labour's fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene said he was aware of the incident and it was a "gross violation".

    "Apparently it's pretty shocking," he said.

    "So widespread are violations of fisheries laws, you've got Chinese vessels, they aren't even permitted to be catching Southern bluefin tuna obviously, purging the oceans of our neighbours and also having no regard for seabirds and sharks and other species.

    The revelations were part of New Zealand's daily annual monitoring, he said, but "this is something that's going on all the time".

    "I understand they boarded 71 vessels, and they found 48 breaches across a range of different violations, from being unlicensed to catching species you're not suppose to.

    "It's just concerning because we can put all the sanctuaries that we want in place but right on our high seas borders you've got just extreme disregard going on to our high seas fishing resource.

    "It's one thing to do the patrolling but we really need to push for more tougher sanctions, blacklisting of vessels, and put more pressure on."

    He urged the Government to be "proactive" in talking to China about this issue.

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