Specifically, the fishing vessels Lao Yuan Yu 010 and Victory 205 were arrested because of fishing violations, such as fishing without a fishing log book and fishing within the Gambia’s nine-nautical mile Special Management Area reserved for artisanal fishermen
According to the Sea Shepherd the waters of The Gambia have a rich biodiversity given that the country is located where the nutrient-rich Gambia River meets the Canary Current.
The crew boarded the Victory 205 when fisheries inspectors discovered that in two different occasions in August the trawler fished within the Special Management Area including trawling at a distance of 1.6 nautical miles from the coast on August 10th.
After their arrest, both Victory 205 and the Lu Lao Yuan Yu 010 are detained in The Gambian Port of Banjul.
Peter Hammarstedt, captain of the Sam Simon commented
Sea Shepherd recognizes the challenges of monitoring, control and surveillance in West African waters and therefore commends the government of The Gambia for taking the initiative to partner with Sea Shepherd to ensure protection of the Special Management Area and to combat illegal fishing.
According to a European infographic the IUU fishing practices worth 10 billion euros annually on a global scale. In addition they hold the 19% of the worldwide reported value of catches.
In their efforts to tackle IUU fishing, Sea Shepherd arrested the fifteenth illegal-fishing vessel in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of National Defense. The vessel caught, Solevant, is the 15th arrest of an illegal-fishing vessel in the area.