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Sea Shepherd Activists Detain Illegal Chinese Shark Fishing Boats for Timor-Leste Police

Source: The Guardian/Michael Slezak - September 14, 2017 in Adventure

Sea Shepherd Activists Detain Illegal Chinese Shark Fishing Boats for Timor-Leste Police
Photo: Saberwyn/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The ocean activist group Sea Shepherd says it has delivered armed Timor-Lestepolice on to a Chinese-owned fishing vessel in a dawn raid and is detaining the vessels for the police after it was found targeting sharks.

Following a two-week hunt for the Pingtan Marine Enterprises fleet, the Sea Shepherd boat M/Y Ocean Warrior found the vessels 150km south of Timor-Leste, allegedly fishing with gill nets anchored to the bottom of the sea, which would suggest they were targeting bottom-dwellers such as sharks.

Campaign leader Garry Stokes, who is aboard the Ocean Warrior, said earlier footage taken by Sea Shepherd, showing the fleet hauling nets full of sharks – some of which are protected under international conventions – was given to the police, who then requested Sea Shepherd help officers board the vessels.

Early on the morning of 9 September, the police boarded the boat and discovered the haul, which appeared to consist almost entirely of sharks.

Stokes said the licence given to the fleet was vague but police believed any shark fishing was illegal under Timor Leste law.

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