23 Oct 2006

Greenpeace says developed nations must help the Pacific identify illegal fishers

7:07 pm on 23 October 2006

Greenpeace is calling on developed nations to help Pacific countries identify illegal fishing boats.

Fiji authorities have grounded a vessel at Suva Port, that is blacklisted for illegal tuna fishing and found it to be flagged to Indonesia.

The Fiji Sun reports the Weng Teng No 688 was found to be carrying illegal goods such as cigarettes and liquor as well as pornographic material.

Greenpeace say suspicions were raised last week when the crew were caught changing the ship's name to Mahkola Abadi.

The Australia Pacific Oceans Team Leader for the organisation, Nilesh Goundar, says

further research shows the vessel belongs to a Taiwan based company.

He says these illegal fishing boats are plundering fish stocks, and the region needs more support to stop it.

"And this is when we call on our neighbours - New Zealand, Australia, France, the USA. That they increase their support for the monitoring and enforcement work that goes on in the Pacific. It is a vast body of water."

Greenpeace's Nilesh Gounder.