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Gary Stokes, Asia Director for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with a zebra shark. (Photo: Jaxs Oliver/Sea Shepherd)

Police & Sea Shepherd raid shark Chinese fishing fleet of 15 vessels

EAST TIMOR
Friday, September 15, 2017, 00:30 (GMT + 9)

A joint operation conducted on September 9 by the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd Global and the East Timor National Police (PNTL) resulted in the capture of the Hong Long Fisheries / Pingtan Marine Enterprises fishing fleet at anchor off the coast of Com, East Timor.

Sea Shepherd’s patrol vessel Ocean Warrior delivered armed police to board the vessels, along with drones to document the operation. After searching for the fleet of 15 vessels for the past two weeks, the Ocean Warrior found them 150 kilometres (95 miles) south of East Timor, fishing with anchored gill nets set to target bottom dwelling species such as sharks. Sea Shepherd documented the vessels retrieving their nets and the catch appeared to be 95 per cent sharks, as well as lots of broken coral.

Images courtesy of Sea Shepherd

The same fleet were documented in East Timor in February offloading massive quantities of sharks to a mothership, the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, which was detained last month inside the Galapagos National Park with 300 tons of sharks, which it had received from four longliners belonging to Hong Long Fisheries and Pingtan Marine Enterprises. The crew of the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 are now in an Ecuadorian jail and the ship impounded, scheduled to be sold off.

Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd., through its majority-owned indirect subsidiary, owns and operates 135 vessels

 

The company who owns the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, Hong Long Fisheries, also owns the 15 vessels operating in East Timor, although Pingtan Marine Enterprises, listed on the U.S. Nasdaq stock exchange, have announced to their shareholders that they also own the 15 vessels and licenses operating in East Timor. The fishing companies are both based in Fuzhou, China. Pingtan was kicked out of Indonesia by Fisheries Minister Susi Prudjiastuti in 2014 and so far have not been allowed to return.

                   

                   Mr. Roy Yu, CFO of Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd. (NASDAQ: PME) featured on CFO World magazine

The Ocean Warrior is currently monitoring the fleet that are now at anchor on the north coast awaiting refueling. Sea Shepherd fears that the fleet will be allowed to escape again due to high level deals being struck to release them by corrupt officials.

The Steve Irwin and Ocean Warrior rendezvous in the Southern Ocean. Picture: Sea Shepherd/ Simon 

 

East Timor’s former Prime Minister/President and Noble Peace Winner, Dr José Ramos-Horta, said: “Unscrupulous foreign commercial fishing activities must be stopped in Timor Leste. We must protect our natural resources; it is an outrage.”

Source: MarEx | Sea Shepherd

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