Further illegal fishing vessel discovered

  • Murray McCully
Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says a third illegal fishing vessel has been discovered operating in the Southern Ocean during a patrol by the HMNZS WELLINGTON.

“The HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted a vessel, calling itself  the Yongding, fishing illegally to the west of the Ross Sea,” Mr McCully says.

“This is the third vessel to be discovered fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean during this patrol.

“All three vessels claim to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea and we continue to convey to Equatorial Guinea our concerns about these vessels’ operations and request permission to board the vessels.

"While these three vessels claim not to be in anyway linked, the Yongding has been observed operating alongside both the Kunlun and the Songhua.

“This strongly suggests they are part the same illegal fishing syndicate. In the past, two of these vessels have been linked to the Spanish-based syndicate, Vidal Armadores S.A.

“The HMNZS WELLINGTON continues to record their activities and gather evidence to assist with future action against the owners.

“New Zealand has also requested that Interpol issue a Purple Notice for this latest vessel,” Mr McCully says.

Photo imagery showing the Yongding operating alongside the Kunlun. Photo credit NZDF.