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Sanford Applauds Confiscation of Toothfish

Sanford Applauds Confiscation of Toothfish from Suspected Poacher

New Zealand fishing company Sanford is welcoming news that a Nigerian registered vessel has been detained in Malaysia and 330 tonnes of toothfish confiscated from it.

Sanford (NZX: SAN) is one of only two New Zealand companies permitted to source toothfish from the Ross Sea fishery.

Sanford Chief Operations Officer, Greg Johansson, says the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) fisheries are carefully managed for a reason, and illegal fishing of this species is a threat to conservation efforts.

The seizure is being reported in Malaysia as the biggest by local authorities this year and is reportedly worth around NZ$8.6 million.

Greg Johansson says Malaysian officials should be congratulated for their work.

“This is an excellent example of the concerted effort that is needed to stomp out the last few remaining IUU, or illegal, unreported or unregulated vessels operating in Antarctic waters. We need more work like this to stop the landing and selling of illegally caught fish irrespective of the species, and the reflagging of pirate vessels almost at will.”

Malaysian authorities say the vessel detained in this case, the Perlon, had changed its name and flag several times.

Sanford vessels operating in Antarctic waters are constantly on the look out for evidence of pirate vessel activity and are grateful for the help of the Royal New Zealand Navy and vessels like those from Sea Shepherd, in trying to track the activities of any pirate vessel. Pirate vessels have never been found operating in the Ross Sea.

“It is part of the CCAMLR licence agreement for the Ross Sea that Sanford vessels will monitor and report any illegal activity they come across. But it takes a collective international effort by all port and flag states to drive these pirate vessels out of business,” says Johansson.

Key facts:

• One of the main Antarctic toothfish fisheries, managed by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), has existed since 1996 in the Ross Sea, which is 4000km south of New Zealand.

• Only two New Zealand fishing companies, including Sanford, are permitted to source toothfish from the Ross Sea fishery. Sanford has two vessels authorised to fish in the Ross Sea fishery: the San Aotea II and the San Aspiring.

• Other countries with vessels authorised to catch toothfish using longlines include: Australia, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine and the UK.

• Illegal fishing refers to activities:

• conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without the permission of that State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations;

• conducted by vessels flying the flag of States that are parties to a relevant RFMO but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures adopted by that organisation and by which the States are bound, or relevant provisions of the applicable international law;

• or in violation of national laws or international obligations, including those undertaken by cooperating States to a relevant RFMO.


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