- UK Court Dismisses Malta Case Against Sea Shepherd
- Four Shark Fin Poachers Arrested in Costa Rica
- Plastic Trawlers Offered As a Solution to Off-Season Woes
A lawsuit that was brought against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) by Maltese seafood company Fish & Fish over a 2010 incident that resulted in over 800 bluefin tuna being freed has been thrown out by a UK judge, who stated that the UK court was not the appropriate place to file the lawsuit. As part of their Operation Blue Rage, the Sea Shepherds pursued the Maltese vessel under alleged evidence that they were fishing illegally, ramming their flagship vessel Steve Irwin into their nets and freeing a sizable portion of their catch. Fish & Fish was later able to have the Steve Irwin arrested in a Scottish port as they were on their way to the Antarctic, the release of which cost the conservation group 520,000 Euros. However, now that the case has been dismissed, not only will Fish & Fish not get to present their case, the judge has ordered them to pay a portion of Sea Shepherd’s legal fees, a number that could be upwards of 250,000 Euros. Fish & Fish have the right to appeal to a higher court.
A vessel carrying four residents of the coastal Costa Rican town of Golfito was also discovered to be carrying 122 fins from roughly 30 different sharks. The long-liner vessel Yamauke was also operating on a fishing license that had expired in May. Inspectors who boarded the vessel eventually found the fins inside freezers, and all four men were immediately arrested on suspicion of shark finning. This bust is the second in June alone, and the eighth since August 2011.
In one of the most innovative ideas we’ve heard yet, Denmark has presented its country’s fishermen with a new livelihood in the leaner months: trawling for plastic. A new net has been specifically designed to fish plastics and other wastes out of the sea, with no damage to marine life. Fishermen would be paid to trawl for plastic during the fishing off-season, with the added benefit of improved fishing conditions. The trash trawler was created by a French company, and is currently being used in Spain, Belgium, and Portugal with great success.