FV Thunder was an outlaw fishing vessel sunk in 2015.The ship was built in 1969 in Norway and has gone by many names, including: Vesturvón, Arctic Ranger, Rubin, Typhoon I, Kuko, and Wuhan N4. The Thunder was part of the "Bandit 6", a group of six fishing vessels that illegally fished for Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean. The ship was last registered in Lagos, Nigeria; however, the ship was officially de-listed by Nigeria a week before she sank.
Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.
The Bandit 6 was a group of six vessels which were illegally fishing Patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean. Actions by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and national governments resulted in all six vessels being detained or sunk.
The Patagonian toothfish is a species of notothen found in cold waters between depths of 45 and 3,850 m in the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans and Southern Ocean on seamounts and continental shelves around most Subantarctic islands.
At the time of her sinking, the crew consisted of 30 Indonesians and 10 officers from Spain, Chile, and Portugal, who were turned over to the authorities in São Tomé and Príncipe.The officers of the crew were later tried and convicted of several illegal fishing offences. The captain, Luis Alfonso Rubio Cataldo of Chile, was given a three-year sentence. The ship's chief engineer, Agustín Dosil Rey of Spain, was given a two-year and nine-month sentence. The ship's second mechanic, Luis Miguel Pérez Fernández of Spain, was given a two-year and eight-month sentence. Together, they were fined a total of over $17 million. Interpol believes that the vessel was part of a fleet of six operating through shell corporations under Vidal Armadores, a company based in Spain.
São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Gabon, respectively.
The International Criminal Police Organization, more commonly known as Interpol, is an international organization that facilitates worldwide police cooperation. It was established in 1923 as the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC); it chose INTERPOL as its telegraphic address in 1946, and made it its common name in 1956.
An Interpol notice for the ship was released on 12 April 2013. In May 2014, Thunder was stopped by Malaysian officials for illegal fishing; however, they let the ship go after a fine of $90,000 was paid.From December 17, 2014, to April 6, 2015, two Sea Shepherd vessels, Bob Barker and the Sam Simon, as part of "Operation Icefish," pursued the renegade trawler Thunder for 10,000 miles from Antarctic waters where it was illegally fishing for Patagonian toothfish to where Thunder was scuttled in the waters of São Tomé and Príncipe at . The ship was first intercepted on December 17, 2014, at , inside the CCAMLR (Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) region of management while deploying illegal gillnets.
An Interpol notice is an international alert circulated by Interpol to communicate information about crimes, criminals, and threats by police in a member state to their counterparts around the world. The information disseminated via notices concerns individuals wanted for serious crimes, missing persons, unidentified bodies, possible threats, prison escapes, and criminals' modus operandi.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is a self-described non-profit, marine conservation organization based in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington, in the United States.
The MY Bob Barker is a ship owned and operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, named after American television game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker, whose donation of $5 million to the society facilitated the purchase of the ship. She first started operating for the group in late 2009 / early 2010 in its campaign against whaling by Japanese fisheries. In October 2010, Sea Shepherd stated that Bob Barker had completed a major refit in Hobart, Tasmania. Hobart is now the ship's honorary home port.
The pursuit of Thunder lasted 110 days,breaking the previous record of 21 days, set by the Australian patrol vessel Southern Supporter in her pursuit of Viarsa 1 in 2003.
Viarsa 1 was a Uruguay-flagged fishing vessel famous for its involvement in a high seas chase.
Transport in São Tomé and Príncipe relies primarily on road infrastructure for local needs and airports and sea travel for international needs. São Tomé and Príncipe does not have railways.
Paul Franklin Watson is a Canadian-American marine wildlife conservation and environmental activist, who founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an anti-poaching and direct action group focused on marine conservation and marine conservation activism; a group accused of Eco-terrorism by both the Japanese government and Greenpeace. He is a citizen of Canada and the United States.
Longline fishing, or longlining, is a commercial fishing technique. It uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals by means of branch lines called snoods. A snood is a short length of line, attached to the main line using a clip or swivel, with the hook at the other end. Longlines are classified mainly by where they are placed in the water column. This can be at the surface or at the bottom. Lines can also be set by means of an anchor, or left to drift. Hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks can hang from a single line. Longliners – fishing vessels rigged for longlining – commonly target swordfish, tuna, halibut, sablefish and many other species.
The vaquita is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California that is on the brink of extinction. Based on beached skulls found in 1950 and 1951, the scientific description of the species was published in 1958. The word vaquita is Spanish for "little cow". Other names include cochito, desert porpoise, vaquita porpoise, Gulf of California harbor porpoise, Gulf of California porpoise, and gulf porpoise. Since the baiji is thought to have gone extinct in 2006, the vaquita has taken on the title of the most endangered cetacean in the world. It has been listed as critically endangered since 1996. The population was estimated at 600 in 1997, below 100 in 2014, approximately 60 in 2015, around 30 in November 2016, and only 12-15 in March 2018, leading to the conclusion that the species will soon be extinct unless drastic action is taken. An estimate released in March 2019, based on acoustic data gathered in the summer of 2018, is that a maximum of 22 and a minimum of 6 vaquita porpoises remain, with the IUCN supporting roughly about 10 individuals.
The Antarctic toothfish is a species of notothen native to the Southern Ocean. It is often mistakenly referred to as an Antarctic cod, consistent with the misnaming of other notothenioid Antarctic fish as rock cods. However, notothenioid fishes are unrelated to cods, which are in another taxonomic order, the Gadiformes. The generic name Dissostichus is from the Greek dissos (twofold) and stichus (line) and refers to the presence of two long lateral lines, which are very important to the species’ ecology. The common name "toothfish" refers to the presence of biserial dentition in the upper jaw, thought to give it a shark-like appearance. The habitat of the Antarctic toothfish is in subzero degree water below latitude 60°S.
HMNZS Wellington (P-55) is a Protector-class off-shore patrol vessel in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The ship was built by Tenix as part of the New Zealand government's Royal New Zealand Navy plans, and was originally expected to enter service during the winter of 2008. However, in late 2008, it became known that the vessel was considered "sub-standard", and did not fulfill a number of specifications, such as being 100 tonnes overweight, making it unfit for Antarctic duties. The future crew that was already stationed with the vessel was sent back to New Zealand after the ship returned to Melbourne, until the dispute with the contractor was resolved. Wellington was accepted into the Royal New Zealand Navy on 6 May 2010 and arrived at the Devonport (Auckland) Naval Base the following month. The ship was also involved in the search for the crewmembers of the 47 ft. yacht Berserk in 2012, but had to turn back due to the weather which the captain called the worst storm he had ever seen in 19 years. During that mission the ship lost three 50-person life rafts of which one was discovered by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel MY Steve Irwin.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is an international issue around the world. Industry observers believe IUU occurs in most fisheries, and accounts for up to 30% of total catches in some important fisheries.
The MV Oceanic Viking was an armed patrol vessel of the Australian Customs Service. Originally built in 1996 as the offshore supply vessel Viking Lady for Norwegian shipping company Eidesvik Shipping AS, the ship was converted into a cable layer in 2000 and renamed Oceanic Viking. The ship was chartered to the Australian Customs Service through P&O Marine Services from 2004 to 2010. In 2011, it was purchased by A&P Tyne, Isle of Man, and renamed European Supporter.
Fishing is the practice of catching fish. It is a prehistoric practice dating back at least 40,000 years. Since the 16th century, fishing vessels have been able to cross oceans in pursuit of fish, and since the 19th century it has been possible to use larger vessels and in some cases process the fish on board. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.
Dissostichus, the toothfish, is a genus of notothen found in the Southern Hemisphere. Toothfishes are marketed in the United States as Chilean sea bass or less frequently as white cod. "Chilean sea bass" is a marketing name, coined in 1977 by Lee Lantz, a fish wholesaler who wanted a more attractive name for selling the Patagonian toothfish to Americans. In 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted "Chilean sea bass" as an "alternative market name" for Patagonian toothfish. The toothfish was remarkably successful in the United States, Europe and Asia, and earned the nickname “white gold” within the market. Toothfishes are vital to the ecological structure of Southern Ocean ecosystems. For this reason, on 4 September a national day is dedicated to the toothfish in South Georgia.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society engages in various demonstrations, campaigns, and tactical operations at sea and elsewhere, including conventional protests and direct actions to protect marine wildlife. Sea Shepherd operations have included interdiction against commercial fishing, shark poaching and finning, seal hunting and whaling. Many of their activities have been called piracy or terrorism by their targets and by the ICRW. Sea Shepherd says that they have taken more than 4,000 volunteers on operations over a period of 30 years.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the fishing industry:
The Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing is a 2009 international treaty of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) designed to prevent and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The MYOcean Warrior is a cutter-class vessel owned and operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as research/survey patrol vessel. She is being used in their direct action campaigns against whaling and against illegal fisheries activities.
Remeliik is a Pacific Forum patrol boat, designed and built in Australia, and donated to Palau, to help it patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Andrey Dolgov is a former long-line fishing boat. During the 2000s and 2010s, the ship—which was engaged in a far-reaching campaign of illegal fishing—was one of Interpol's most wanted ships. The Andrey Dolgov was captured and detained by the Indonesian navy in April 2018; the Indonesian government now intends to refurbish the ship and incorporate it into Indonesia's fisheries enforcement fleet.
Illegal fishing operations will be documented, reported and confronted. They will be physically obstructed from deploying their illegal gillnets and unlawful fishing gear will be confiscated and destroyed.
This Purple Notice contains updated information on the fishing vessel Thunder which sank in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of São Tomé and Príncipe.
The Bob Barker and the Sam Simon, two ships owned by Sea Shepherd, an environmental group, pursued a fish-poaching trawler called the Thunder for 10,250 nautical miles.