Alleged violations from F/V Shuen De Ching No.888, escorted by Taiwan patrol vessel for sailing back to Taiwan for further investigation and punishment
Regarding the case of F/V Shuen De Ching No.888, which was accused of unauthorized operation by Greenpeace couple days ago, the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan requested the assistance of the Coast Guard Administration to instruct the patrol vessel, HSUN HU No.9, to board the vessel Shuen De Ching No.888 and conduct investigation on 17 and 18 September 2015. According to the preliminary findings, the fishing license of Shuen De Ching No.888 and its certificate for fishing vessels operating at overseas bases are both valid. Markings of the fishing vessel and reports of its positions are also in conformity with relevant regulations. However, alleged violations were found out as well. The Fisheries Agency decides to order this vessel to stop operations immediately and navigate directly back to Taiwan, under escort of the said patrol vessel, for further investigations and punishment.
The Fisheries Agency indicates that Shuen De Ching No.888 left the Dong Gang Port of Taiwan on 27 June 2015, and arrived in the High Sea Pocket No.1 in the Pacific for fishing on 7 July. It’s duly authorized by this Agency to operate in the western and central Pacific Ocean. After conducting inspection by patrol vessel HSUN HU No.9 on 17 and 18 September, inspectors found out that total catch on board this fishing vessel accounted for 10.4 tons, including 5.4 tons of yellow fin tuna, 2 tons of bigeye tuna and 3 tons of others. The findings were significantly discrepant to the quantities filled in the logbooks. As for shark catches, it’s found out that 5 carcasses with fins tied, and 110 pieces of separated fins without carcasses. Of those 110 pieces of fins, 1 for pectoral fin, 1 for dorsal fin, 4 for caudal fin, and 104 for anal fin (note: each shark should have 2 anal fins).This is an obvious violation of shark finning. In addition, Shuen De Ching No.888 is suspected of conducting transshipment on high seas without prior authorization. The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan resolutely orders Shuen De Ching No.888 to stop operations and navigate directly back to Taiwan, under escort of the HSUN HU No.9, for further investigation and clarification on any irregularities it has conducted in accordance with the Fisheries Act promulgated by this Agency.The Fisheries Agency reiterates its firm commitment to actively participate in relevant international or regional fisheries management organizations and cooperate with relevant member countries to draft and adopt conservation and management measures, for the purpose of sustainable utilization of fisheries resources. Moreover, this Agency has devoted itself to being a responsible flag State, such as continuing collection and submission of fisheries data, monitoring operations of fishing vessels, guiding the industries to comply with conservation and management measures adopted by international/regional fisheries management organizations and ensuring the enforcement of domestic regulations. The Fisheries Agency has never evaded its duties nor tried to cover up Taiwanese fishing vessels when it comes to violations of conservation and management measures, and this Agency will continue upholding such principle as a responsible flag State in the future.
Contact Person: Mr. Hong-Yen Huang, Deputy Director-General of the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan