Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ship In Chains

The Russian fish cargo ship, the Mumrinskiy, has been chained to the docks in the Dutch port of Eemshaven by vigilantes to stop it from engaging in illegal activities with pirate fisheries and facilitating the plunder of the dwindling Barents Sea fish stocks. The chaining of the Mumrinskiy's propeller to the dock by Greenpeace vigilantes occurred after the failure of authorities to blacklist the ship and punish it for ongoing illegal activities. On June 12th the Mumrinskiy was documented by the Norwegian Coastguard transhipping illegally to the reefer Sinbad, another vessel with a scandalous track record of involvement in the Barents illegal cod fishery. The Sindbad was operating without a flag and under the unregistered name `Marlin'. The Sindbad/Marlin was immediately blacklisted but the Murminskiy escaped unpunished. "The Mumrinskiy continues to break laws that have been put in place to manage the world's last remaining relatively healthy cod stock. It is obvious that it will continue to engage in illegal activities if allowed to return to sea," said Farah Obaidullah, Greenpeace Netherlands oceans campaigner. "In a time of rampant over fishing governments can not continue to turn a blind eye to documented pirates like the Mumrinskiy. This ship must be scrapped, and her owners charged with stealing fish from the Barents Sea."
The Mumrinskiy
Greenpeace vigilantes will hand over the keys of the lock chaining the Mumrinskiy to the dockside to the Dutch Minister of Fisheries later today, and is calling on the Dutch government and the international community to demand the immediate scrapping of the Mumrinskiy. The Mumrinskiy has a long history of involvement in illegal operations, including transhipment of Barents cod from illegal boats, ignoring commands from Norwegian authorities and misreporting its cargo to hide illegally caught fish. The Mumrinskiy arrived from the Barents Sea on Saturday to offload its cargo at Sealane Cold Storage BV, a Dutch freezing company. According to the United Nations 74 percent of the worlds commercial fish stocks are either fully exploited or depleted. Pirate fishing, also known as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is a US$9 billion rogue industry that has a devastating effect on fish stocks and biodiversity in some of the most ecologically important areas of the world's oceans such as the Barents Sea. "The reality is that there is simply not enough fish left in the sea for all the boats out there," (Huh?) said Sari Tolvanen, Greenpeace instigator and troublemaker. "Governments must work together to establish a global database of vessels and promptly blacklist those caught operating illegally, such as the Murminskiy, in order to address pirate fishing and establish a worldwide network of marine reserves to restore fish stocks".

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