Mission – Enforcing Marine Protected Areas
We were approached by Pretoma, a Costa Rican NGO, to help in apprehending a shrimp trawler known to operate in the local Marine Protected Area. We flew a military drone to gather intelligence on the illegal operation. We then launched our Sealegs Amphibious Vessel from the beach and covertly filmed the illelgal trawler using Infra Red Spotlights and Cameras. The Captain turned out to be the President of the Commercial Fisherman’s Association. Pretoma proceeded with the prosecution.
Mission – Illegal Shark Finners in Cocos Island
We were tracking 2 vessels suspected of illegal shark finning. They headed all the way out to Cocos Island, some 300 nautical miles offshore. We traveled out there in our amphibious vessel and in one of our most successful missions to date, busted 7 shark finning vessels inside the Cocos island Marine Reserve. We worked with MINAE, the government agency with jurisdiction over the Cocos Islands.
Mission – Illegal Fishing by Foreign Vessels
Our team flew aerial surveillance over part of the South China Sea that lies within Filipino Territorial Waters. A number of suspected foreign vessels fishing illegally were detected. We then went to the area by boat and chased the largest of the vessels. The boat was successfully boarded and seized. On-board was over 15 ton of illegally taken fish, including a number of endangered species. We were working with PCSD and the Maritime Police.
Who we work with on Fisheries Enforcement and Why
Earthrace conducts joint fisheries enforcement missions with NGOs and government agencies in various countries. We provide training, manpower, vessels, aerial surveillance assets and resource, and we participate in the missions. There are 3 main goals in these missions
* The arrest and prosecution of people involved in illegal fishing
* Telling the world what is happening in illegal fishing through our TV Series and other media
* Increase in skill level of both teams through combined training efforts
Fishery Enforcement missions remain a key part of Earthrace. It is an area that we have developed key skill sets in, especially hostile vessel boarding, search an seizure, and also an understanding of the various patterns in illegal fishing. We add significant value to NGOs and government agencies we partner with in addressing Illegal Fishing.