Thanks to marine wildlife conservation group Sea Shepherd, the world's largest fish factory ship, the Damanzaihao, was arrested and seized last week. Capable of killing 547,000 tons of fish per year, the blacklisted vessel is subject to a federal criminal investigation. The ship is currently prohibited from leaving its port in Peru.
The Damanzaihao's illegal fishing acts had previously led to a multi-million dollar fine issued by the Peruvian Ministry of Production in 2016. The vessel has also been accused of pollution through illegal discharge of waste.
Sea Shepherd is gathering information to assist the government and help put an end to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The organization has highlighted data indicating that up to 26 million tons of fish and seafood are caught illegally every year.
"IUU fishing often occurs in marine protected areas and effects non-target species including sharks, dolphins, rays, Bryde’s whales, whale sharks, and turtles. These animals often become trapped in illegal fishing nets, die, and are discarded."
In addition to marine conservation, Sea Shepherd maintains an animal rights focus. All of the food served on Sea Shepherd vessels is vegan.
“Peru is taking a strong stance in its efforts to bring the Damanzaihao to justice," said Sea Shepherd. "Under the Peruvian Penal Code, successful conviction carries a penalty of three to five years of incarceration. Sea Shepherd applauds Peru’s commitment to combating IUU fishing and continues to provide support to Peru to help bring an end to the rampant over-exploitation of the oceans.”
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