A particularly dangerous form of fishing – The Reporter
Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, inhabit some of the coldest ocean waters on the planet. It is a fish native to Patagonia, and this sentient creature can grow to a length of 6 feet and exceed 220 pounds if it exists in its native waters undisturbed by humans. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for this fish species in the Southern Ocean seriously threatened its survival in the late 1990s and into the 21st century.
Although IUU fishing has declined dramatically since 2005 – thanks to the concerted efforts of conservation groups and media exposure – this species of fish continues to be hunted by IUU pirates in their quest to profit from an extremely large trade. stingy.
Sadly, most consumers who pay $ 30 or more for a small serving of fish on a plate are oblivious to the real devastation to marine life and the lasting destructive ecological damage that results from IUU fishing.
While reality shows have become a mainstay of interest in “who’s wearing what,” “who’s breaking up with whom” and “what fashions are hot,” it is not difficult to understand that such distractions pointless distracts from relevant and important issues. that face serious consequences when ignored.
We must understand that our own survival depends on the health and well-being of the oceans around us. The way we treat the ocean, its people and its purity is vital for all life.
Therefore, we must protect and manage these beautiful waters and their inhabitants with determination and determination.
In 2015, when IUU fishing once again pointed its ugly head into the high seas to hunt toothfish, the Sea Shepherd campaign known as “Operation Icefish” arrived to defend the defenseless. Two ships belonging to the association, the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon, named after their beneficiaries, sailed more than 10,000 nautical miles from Antarctica to the west coast of Africa as they watched and protected the waters away from IUU fishing.
In their quest for ocean justice, they pursued a Spanish vessel named “Thunder” and known for its illegal fishing and disregard for marine life for 110 days until its illegal fishing expedition was thwarted.
The captain of the Thunder, a Chilean named Alfonso Rubio Cataldo, expressed his frustrations at those who attempted to stop his vessel and confiscate the Thunder’s illicit fishing gear by voluntarily turning his vessel in the direction of those that threatened its illegal activities, resulting in almost catastrophic high seas collisions. The stakes are high.
Although in 2015 the “Thunder” had a nine-year fishing ban and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) monitored it, as evidenced by the Purple Notice bulletin, which amounts to what we let’s call the list of most wanted people. criminals, the “Thunder” continued to plunder the Southern Ocean, harassing, grabbing and killing.
Some will say business as usual, but not the crew of the Sea Shepherd fleet.
Their dedication to protecting ocean waters and their inhabitants is unwavering, dangerous as it is. Sea Shepherd volunteers are spirited individuals who must be able to endure water so cold that exposure can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
They face cyclonic storms that create 50-foot swells and blocks of ice that can trap a ship in minutes. The risk and peril are immense, but these brave, young and professional people are determined with respectful idealistic goals to protect and preserve the precious ocean.
These preservation objectives are imperative for the well-being of all – it is well documented that fish populations, including swordfish, marlin and tuna, have declined in alarming numbers.
Another infamous individual by the name of Antonio Vidal is also being watched by Interpol as a person of interest as a supporter of illegal fishing which includes the Chinese state-sanctioned illegal squid fleet caught off the coast of the North Korea.
Efforts to put an end to these nefarious activities did not continue in earnest until in 1977, Paul Watson of Greenpeace established the ocean warden patrol, Sea Shepherd.
His dedicated efforts and the many volunteers over many decades continue to make real change. A documentary that chronicled “Chasing the Thunder” released in 2018 airs on Discovery about the long quest for ocean justice. It was made possible by longtime film producers Mark Benjamin and Mark Levin and co-produced by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Additionally, “The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier” by investigative journalist Ian Urbina provides insight into crime in international waters.
To be informed is to be aware. Looked.
– The author is the founder of the Harmony Kennels Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization. Write to him at PO Box 5112, Vacaville, Ca 95696 or by e-mail at: [email protected]