24 Aug 2006 04:44:45
Fishy cod reefer: activists demand inspection

LINK: http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/fishy-cod

EEMSHAVEN, Netherlands - As the Esperanza tackles pollution in the
Philippines, our ship the Arctic Sunrise continues our expedition's
battle against pirates. Activists demanded inspection of
Russian-flagged reefer 'Mumrinskiy' in the Netherlands, suspected of
carrying illegal cod bound for European dinner plates.
Our activists have stopped the Russian flagged reefer "Mumrinskiy" from
offloading their cargo in Eemshaven, the Netherlands. We also painted
STOP PIRATE FISHING on the side and blocked the vessel from unloading=20
cargo. We have good reason to suspect that the vessel is carrying
illegal cod from the Barents Sea.

The Barents Sea is home to one of the world's last relatively healthy
cod populations, but even this stock is now being heavily exploited.
According to estimates from the International Council for the
Exploration of the Sea (ICES) 37 percent of all cod captured in the
Barents Sea in 2005 was illegal.

Our Oceans Campaigner Farah Obaidullah explains. "The fishing
industry has heavily plundered the cod stock in the North Sea and now
they are starting to overexploit the stocks in the Barents Sea," she
says. "Illegal fishing seriously undermines efforts to conserve and
manage fish stocks and it poses a severe threat to the whole Barents

Mumrinskiy's dodgy history

So why do we suspect the Mumrinskiy? This vessel has a clear history
of illegal operations, including transhipment of fish from blacklisted
vessels, ignoring commands from Norwegian Authorities and falsifying
documents to hide illegally caught fish. The Mumrinskiy has often
transited through international waters circumventing the Norwegian
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), thereby avoiding inspection on her way
from the Barents Sea to EU ports. (Read the fact file and see a map of
her latest voyages here).

EU ports: laundering dirty cod

A frequent tactic trawlers use in the Barents Sea to under-report their
daily catches is to tranship parts of their match unreported to reefer
vessels like the "Mumrinskiy". These reefers then land the stolen fish
in Dutch ports where landing documents with Russian data are not
verified and the fish enters unchecked on to the European market.

"It is a scandal that Russian reefers use Dutch harbours to launder
their illegal fish", says Obaidullah. "The only way to stop illegal cod
from ending up on our plates is to carry out thorough inspections and
confirm with the relevant authorities that the catch is legal before it
can be offloaded in Holland.

The Arctic Sunrise is working on the North and Baltic Sea as part of
the Defending Our Oceans expedition to highlight the wonders and the
environmental threats to the world's oceans and to campaign for the
establishment of marine reserves.

Stronger suspicion: more information about the trawlers that Mumrinskiy
carries fish from this time

3 Case Studies of the Mumrinskiy from 2005
Read the Mumrinskiy fact file
=B7 Download a fact file on the Mumrinskiy including a map of her
recent voyages
Read a backgrounder on illegal cod
=B7 Download our report "Headed and Gutted: illegal cod fishing in the
Barents Sea"