Greenpeace calls for investigation into illegal fishing by Taiwanese ship

​Greenpeace is urging Pacific nations to investigate and capture the Taiwanese-flagged ship that illegally caught tuna and 75 kilograms of shark fins, which the state’s Taiwan Fisheries Agency (TFA) had failed to ensure had permission to fish.

“We are still tracking the Shuen De Ching No.888 and we have supplied all our information to the nations where the ship might pull into their ports, including Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Fiji.

“We think it is vital for Pacific nations to investigate this ship to show that illegal fishing will not be tolerated, particularly as the region tries to develop a sustainable fisheries industry,” said Lagi Toribau, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Global Tuna campaigner from aboard Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior ship.

The call follows a Greenpeace East Asia protest in front of the TFA headquarters in Taipei Friday over the agency’s move to effectively reward an illegal fishing operation. Greenpeace East Asia had reported details of the pirate operation to the TFA as soon as Greenpeace activists on the Rainbow Warrior boarded the Shuen De Ching on Wednesday and confirmed it did not have a fishing license.

Frances Lo, Greenpeace East Asia’s Taipei office campaigner, said that instead of responding, the TFA appeared to have used the information supplied by Greenpeace to retrospectively legalise the vessel and backdate the license to April.

“Greenpeace has comprehensive documentation of the case of Shuen De Ching No.888 and authorities must take action,” said Lo.

“The Taiwan Fisheries Agency ignored Greenpeace’s constructive effort and support. Instead, they chose to protect the vessel and cover up its illegal fishing. This will seriously affect Taiwan’s international reputation, and it could lead to international sanctions.

“We demand that the government orders this illegal vessel to stop fishing and return to port immediately for a full and transparent investigation.

“Although the TFA has said it will follow up on the vessel’s illegal shark finning, the reality is it may use the investigation to further delay and cover up the problem,” he said.