Three fishing vessels have been detained in a covert operation between Sea Shepherd and the Liberian Ministry of National Defense to stop illegal fishing.
For the past three weeks, the marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd has been secretly patrolling the waters of the Republic of Liberia in West Africa in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of National Defense using Sea Shepherd’s vessel the Bob Barker.
The vessel has 20 crew under the command of Captain Fraser Hall on board as well as ten Liberian Coast Guard sailors with the authority to board, inspect and arrest ships violating Liberian law, two Israeli maritime advisors and conservationists providing training assistance.
Named Operation Sola Stella, the campaign has already resulted in the arrest of three illegally fishing vessels, currently in detention at the Liberian Coast Guard base in Monrovia.
Over 50 violations of Liberian laws and maritime regulations were discovered upon inspection of the three trawlers from Senegal, China and Ghana, including fishing without permits, operating without vessel documentation, fishing in restricted zones, systematic under-declared catch, attempted bribery of a Liberian Coast Guard officer and undocumented workers without passports living in unsanitary conditions.
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SOURCE: News Now/ Maritime Executive Online