Fisheries Ministry, Sea Shepherd team up

THE Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) compliance officials and Sea Shepherd, onboard the Ocean Warrior, jointly carried out successful surveillance activities in Namibia`s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) from over a three-month period up to mid-June, effectively causing illegal factory trawlers to temporarily abandon the Skeleton Coast. The main objective of these joint patrols was to tackle Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Namibian waters. The initiatives assisted the MFMR and other Namibian law enforcement agencies to force illegal and foreign industrial factory trawlers out of the Namibian EEZ suspected to have targeted horse mackerel stocks through IUU activities. Large foreign industrial factory trawlers – former Soviet Union made trawlers -  have been ‘border hopping`, sneaking into Namibia`s EEZ at night, plundering fish, predominantly horse mackerel, off Namibia’s famed Skeleton Coast. These illegal incursions have been exacerbated by heavy fog and shipwrecks in the area thereby making detection difficult.