Wednesday, 22 February 2017

It took less than a minute of satellite time to catch these thieves red-handed

The heart of the Pacific Ocean is a vast, barely explored region outside national boundaries, teeming with undiscovered species and dramatic undersea terrain. A few organizations monitor activity here, mostly international fisheries management groups, but it's easy for a vessel to get lost in the enormous distances. That's exactly what many pirate fishing fleets depend on.

Though normally we associate the term piracy with rogues who commandeer other people's ships, it's also used as shorthand to describe illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. The Pacific is crawling with fishing pirates. Often their ships are crewed by malnourished slaves who don't see land for months at a time, a practice that has been documented by rights groups and exposed in a 2015 Associated Press investigation. They make their money by fishing illegally or in poorly regulated areas and then offloading their goods to the crews of large refrigerated cargo vessels called reefers in a process called transshipping. The reefer crews mix their legal catch with the pirate catch and then sell it all in port.

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from It took less than a minute of satellite time to catch these thieves red-handed

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