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More Illegal Fishing At The Socorro Islands

Discussion in 'Nautilus Explorer and Belle Amie' started by Nautilus Belle Amie, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Nautilus Belle Amie

    Nautilus Belle Amie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Last night after we pulled anchor we saw a fishing boat, what looked like a purse seiner, about 0.5 nm off the NE point of San Ben. It looked like they were hauling in their nets. There was still some light, so we steamed in that direction in the hopes of getting pictures or being able to identify them. As soon as the fish boat realized we were headed their way, they turned tail and fled. Guilty of fishing in a park sanctuary. Their nets were likely filled with more than just fish. We were all furious. We tried in vain to reach them on VHF, tried to get their identity, told them what they were doing was illegal, and they knew it, but darkness fell, and soon they were just the unidentifiable bright lights of a fishing boat. But, at least now they were almost eight miles off San Ben and getting further away. In the distance we could make out the lights of two other fish boats just outside the 12 mile boundary.

    I called the Explorer and let them know what was going on. They were 20 miles north of San Ben, and would be arriving shortly to take over watch of our beloved island and the animals that live there. The fish boat we chased thought all the dive boats were gone after the Solmar V left earlier, as we were diving the Boiler on the other side, and the island seemed deserted. Happy we were there to discourage the opportunists from further destruction.


    Captain Bryden
     
  2. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

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    THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND PASSION ABOUT THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES AND THINGS WE ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET TO VISIT. And nice working together with the other boats to try to make this happen.

    I'm ignorant about ocean vessel identification methods. Can you give me a one paragraph description of how vessels are identified and whether there is some general repository of info that exists, and how easy it is for them to simply change it? Much appreciated.
     
    Nautilus Belle Amie likes this.
  3. Nautilus Belle Amie

    Nautilus Belle Amie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Thank you for your kind words. I will see if I can get the skinny on how all that works. Captain territory.
    Brooke
     
  4. Nautilus Belle Amie

    Nautilus Belle Amie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Update the boat has been arrested as is being held accountable - but here is the official answer from our captain.

    Most people think of vessels as being the ultimate in freedom and imagine that ships can come and go as they please anywhere in the world. The reality is very different. Every ship - even tiny ones like fishing boats and dive boats - are registered under a flag ie. United States of America. The name of each ship is actually as unique as a fingerprint and cannot be duplicated within each registry. Believe it or not, it’s a legal requirement that each ship actually flies the flag of their registry. You can’t just put up or take down your flag when you feel like it. There is actually a repository listing of every commercial ship in the world over 100 gross register tons dating back to the 19th century!. Lloyd's Register of Ships online | LR Foundation | LR Foundation. The thing that really limits the freedom to sail off into the sunset is something called “port control” which results in every ship requiring customs, agriculture and immigration clearance as well as permission from the harbour master to depart port on a clearly defined route to a specified destination. On our own dive ships, we even have to get permission from the navy just to leave the harbour. Alas the days of freely sailing around wherever and whenever you feel like are long gone. Virtually all ships on the high seas are readily identifiable and accountable
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I love that the fishng boat has been captured and crew arrested! :)
     
    Nautilus Belle Amie likes this.
  6. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I love that the fishng boat has been captured and crew arrested! :)

    Edit: oops duplicate post, I guess I really love it!
     
    Nautilus Belle Amie likes this.
  7. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

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    Thanks to the captain for writing that, it was very informative. And thanks again for the diligent work. One followup question: so based on my impression that quite a few of these illegal fisherman come from a few places in Asia, and in view of your statement about having to file specific navigation plans to leave port, is it your impression that the ports in these particular places are aggressively following the rules of regulating their users or are the port controls seeming to be "lax" (if not outright complicit)? Restated simply, are the port controls in places these illegal fishers tending to come from typically aggressive in enforcing the rules and the fisherman then do whatever they want after leaving port, or are the port controls in those areas somewhat lax if not complicit so port users can do what they want? I'm sure those ports have paperwork to show they are enforcing rules appropriately, but given the volume and scope of these fishing boats across the world, they are apparently able to regularly get away with it. It's a shame that, apparently since the beginning of organized fishing, fishermen that are the first to see the volume of catch reducing never seem to be able to grasp that this is a finite resource. Perhaps they even prefer reducing the volume of fish available so they can drive the price up, but at some point, they'll be out of a job, but I guess they just move on to another species.
     
    Nautilus Belle Amie likes this.
  8. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

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    Yet another reason why I like the Belle Amie. What an awesome boat, crew and "Captain Water Boy" is equally fantastic. Yes, he looks a lot like Adam Sandler with that infectious grin and he's a hoot to hang around. Good job, Captain Gordon and crew! Thanks for protecting such an invaluable resource for all of us to enjoy! Here's a video of him, the crew and the Socorros.

     
    Nautilus Belle Amie likes this.
  9. Nautilus Belle Amie

    Nautilus Belle Amie ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    At this point any answer we could give would be speculative. I'm sure it is a combination of many things that leads to illegal fishing - but we stay positive and support each other the best we can in attempts to control the illegal fishing in our little heaven on earth, the Socorro Islands.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  10. Shasta_man

    Shasta_man Loggerhead Turtle

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    Yes, I guess I was looking for sort of "informed speculation". :) I understand what you are saying though. Thanks again for your time and efforts.
     

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