Sea Shepherd highlights that although the vessel was not caught fishing at the time of its arrest, according to electronic evidence seized onboard, it was proven that Haixin 27 has a history of fishing illegally in Gabon.
The crew of the Sea Shepherd ship, Bob Barker, assisted authorities with the arrest of the trawler caught inside the Grand Sud du Gabon Aquatic Reserve. After one day, the trawler arrived in Port Gentil for the commencement of further investigations and legal proceedings.
Madeleine Habib, captain of the Bob Barker, reported
Through the close cooperation between Sea Shepherd and the government of Gabon, we can together stamp out illegal fishing and defend the wonderfully rich biodiversity of the Gulf of Guinea region. The arrest of the Haixin 27 sends a powerful message to all fishing vessels that illegal fishing will not be tolerated in Gabon.
Moreover, two years ago, two sister ships to the Haixin 27, the Haixin 23 and Haixin 28, both also flagged to China, were intercepted when five fishing vessels were observed by radar crossing the border between Gabon and ROC under the cover of darkness, with their fishing gear deployed and actively fishing. The other three trawlers escaped across the border into Congolese waters.
Also, in early March, 2019, conducted a workshop in Gabon's capital, Libreville, to provide an insight into legal and policy support to multiple government agencies combating fisheries crime in Gabon, Central West Africa.