A group of heavily armed men, suspected to be linked to terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, have kidnapped a total of 10 crew men from two fishing vessels in Malaysian waters, in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The two boats were off Lahad Datu’s Tambisan area and heading towards Semporna.
The fishing industry’s volume and complexity make it vulnerable to exploitation by transnational organized crime. As such, UNODC and the government of Ecuador organized the first “Regional Conference on Fisheries Crime” of the Americas on 12-13 September in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The ReCAAP ISC issued an incident alert informing of the first actual crew abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Seas for 2018, that took place in the waters off Sabah, East Malaysia, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, involving two fishermen from a trawler.
The pirates raided the four boats, that were carrying a total of 20 fishermen, off the Atlantic coast of the South American country and forced them to jump overboard. Some of the victims had batteries tied to their legs to weigh them down. Four of these men managed to swim to shore and three of them are currently receiving medical attention.
The fishing vessel ‘Marine 711’ was en route to anchovies fishing grounds, with 40 crewmen onboard, when it was hijacked on March 26. The attackers released the vessel on 28 March, but took with them at least 5 hostages, including the captain, chief officer and chief engineer of Korean nationality, and two more men of Ghanaian and Greek nationalities.
A Guinean-flagged fishing trawler detained and under investigation by Liberian law enforcement authorities was arrested by the Liberian Coast Guard, with assistance from Sea Shepherd, as it attempted to evade justice by fleeing detention on 15 March 2018. Taking advantage of a national holiday in Liberia, the fishing vessel ‘Benty 1’ endeavored to slip away.
This Special Report provides an update of the situation focusing on the modus operandi of the perpetrators, status of the abducted crew and actions carried out by the littoral States and the ReCAAP ISC.
The IMO Assembly has called on Member States to accept the 2012 Cape Town fishing vessel safety agreement, to address the high casualty rate in the sector.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Puntland authorities have launched the first database for Somali fishermen in decades aimed at improving management of fisheries in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden
Interpol to combat illegal fishing
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