One more fishing bandit bites the dust

Published by FiskerForum, 10-04-2018 · info@fiskerforum.dk

With a bunch of different names behind it and with Togolese registration, according to the paintwork on its stern, another of the Southern Ocean’s rogue fishing vessels has finally been apprehended, and not for the first time.

Currently known as STS-50 and a well-known poacher of Patagonian toothfish in Antarctic waters, it has also been known as Ayda, Sea Breez 1 and Andrey Dolgov at various times, and has been both black-listed by CCAML and the subject of an Interpol purple notice.

A few days ago the Indonesian Navy finally caught up with STS-50 after a game of cat-and-mouse that has taken it across the Indian Ocean since it slipped away from custody in Mozambique a month ago.

Since then a tracking operation involving Fish-i Africa, Interpol’s Project Scale, the Fusion Centers in Madagascar and Singapore, Sea Shepherd, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Indonesia has been in progress. From East Africa, STS-50 was tracked through Seychelles waters by Sea Shepherd and the Tanzanian Navy that was not able to carry out a boarding outside national waters. The fugitive’s course indicated Indonesia as a destination and information passed by Interpol to the Indonesian authorities made it possible to intercept the vessel sixty nautical miles off south-eastern Weh Island.

STS-50 is reported to be stateless in spite of its apparent Togo registration and to have been carrying a crew of 14 Indonesian and six Russian nationals, as well as having six hundred 50 metre gill nets on board.

In accordance with UNCLOS, as STS-50 is a stateless vessel, Indonesia has the authority to impound the vessel, and either find a use for it or destroy it.

Source: Various

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