FISH-i Africa country de-flags IUU listed fishing vessels

FISH-i Africa country deflags IUU listed vessels web

Summary

Two IUU listed fishing vessels, using the names ALDABRA and CHANG BAI were de-flagged by Tanzania at the request of the regional fisheries management organisation, CCAMLR. FISH-i Africa Task Force members committed to refuse requests to re-register these vessels in an effort to prevent further illegal fishing occurring.

Key events

2007: The Togo flagged ALDABRA was IUU listed in 2007 by CCAMLR for fishing without a fishing license targeting toothfish. The Aldabra had used the previous names of OMOA 1, ILANGA, STELLA 1, KING STAR No. 303 and CLOVER No. 103 and had been flagged to Panama and Honduras.

The CHANG BAI was a well-known IUU vessel, blacklisted since 2003, she had operated under the previous names of HONGSHUI, HUANG HE 22, SIMA QIAN BARU 22, GALAXY, DORITA, BLACK MOON, INA MAKA and CORVUS and has also employed the use of several flags of convenience including South Korea, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Uruguay.

2008: The ALDABRA re-flagged to Tanzania and appears active in the Indian Ocean region with records of port visits to Mombasa, Durban and Cape Town as well as Vigo and Montevideo.

2013: CCAMLR and the Australian authorities requested support from FISH-i Africa to have the vessels de-registered by Tanzania.

September 2013: Zanzibar Maritime Authority de-registered the vessels in response to the IUU history of the vessels.

February 2014: ALDABRA is observed just south of the South African waters no longer flagged to Tanzania but still using the Tanzanian flag.

2014-2015: The CHANG BAI underwent two further name changes and continued to fish illegally, firstly as the TAISHAN and then as the KUNLUN.

January 2015: KUNLUN is issued with and INTERPOL Purple Notice for illegally fishing for toothfish inside an area regulated by the CCAMLR.

March 2015: Following a coordinated effort between INTERPOL and law enforcement authorities in Thailand, Australia and New Zealand the KUNLUN was detained on fisheries-related violations in Thailand after an attempt to offload approximately 200 tonnes of illegally caught Patagonian toothfish, falsely labelled as grouper.

September 2015: The KUNLUN absconds from custody into international waters with her shipment of stolen fish.

February 2016: Renamed as ASIAN WARRIOR and operating under false registration with fake Indonesian flag the vessel is detained in Senegal.

What did FISH-i AFrica do?

  • Zanzibar Maritime Authority de-flagged in cooperation with the Tanzania Deep Sea Fisheries Authority (DSFA)
  • Task Force wide coordinated response to refuse re-flagging requests
  • Task Force wide coordinated response to refuse fishing licence requests
  • Created awareness around the IUU fishing vessels on the Stop Illegal Fishing website
  • Liaised with CCAMLR and Australian authorities

Conclusion    

A history of name changes and flag changes are a common characteristic of IUU fishing vessels avoiding the consequences of being listed by RFMOs. The ALDABRA is now operating as a stateless vessel and does not enjoy the protection of any state, some countries have asserted that any state can assert jurisdiction over a stateless vessel. The CHANG BAI after many name changes is currently detained thanks to international cooperation and investigation.