18 Dec 2014

Sea Shepherd arrests 'poaching vessel'

12:48 pm on 18 December 2014

Animal welfare activist group Sea Shepherd claims to have intercepted and made a citizen's arrest on what it calls an illegal fishing vessel, Thunder, in the Southern Ocean.

Bob Barker's captain Peter Hammarstedt

Bob Barker's captain Peter Hammarstedt. Photo: Chiara Bussini / Sea Shepherd Global

Captain of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker, Peter Hammarstedte, said Thunder had been flagged by Interpol as a ship that was operating illegally.

He said the fishing boat was found with its fishing gear deployed, and Sea Shepherd was now waiting for the New Zealand or Australian authorities to take over the arrest.

He said that if the ship begins fishing he would intervene using the Bob Barker to block Thunder if he needed to.

"If this vessel attempts to deploy any fishing gear then we will physically block them from doing so.

"I have 500 tonnes of steel to negotiate with and that puts me in a very good negotiating position with this fishing vessel."

Sea Shepherd was conducting a campaign called Operation Icefish designed to catch toothfish fishing poachers Antarctica.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs