On March 13, the Nigerian-flagged fishing vessel Star Shrimper XXV was boarded in waters belonging to the West African state of Liberia by the Liberian Coast Guard, assisted by Sea Shepherd crew and Israeli maritime advisors and conservationists.
The vessel was actively fishing without a Liberian fishing license, the most serious offense under the Liberian Fisheries Regulations, for which the penalty can be a fine up to $1,000,000.
The trawler was detected by radar as it entered Liberian waters from the waters of Cote d’Ivoire at a speed that indicated trawling activity. A Liberian Coast Guard boarding team mobilized on board the Sea Shepherd vessel M/Y Bob Barker and proceeded to the target, where the vessel was discovered actively fishing with its trawling gear in the water.
The Star Shrimper XXV is part of a fleet of fishing vessels owned by Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd that is certified by the U.S. Department of State to export shrimp to the United States because of the use of measures to reduce by-catch including turtles. The fleet is currently certified under “Friend of the Sea” criteria for sustainable fishing of Black Tiger Prawns. However, the guidelines require vessels to comply with legal requirements including valid fishing permits.
Source: News Now/ Maritime Executive Online