since March, when the crew attempted to offload 182 tons of illegally-caught Patagonian toothfish worth around US$5 million as grouper worth US$414,400. This followed a joint investigation between Interpol, Sea Shepherd, Thailand, Australia and NZ.
A Thai naval officer said Taishan/Kunlun's captain was fined under the Thai Customs Act, however the vessel's unregulated fishing was not illegal under Thai laws applicable to the high seas: "The operator paid the fine and had the right to claim their fish in accordance with the law." Then, at the first opportunity, the vessel eluded local authorities and did a runner!
Peter Hammarstedt, Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia, has bagged Australia and NZ for not apprehending Taishan/Kunlun earlier in the year: "As the vessel has now escaped with its illegal catch, we're seeing this blunder for what it really is. If the vessel had been arrested by Australia or NZ, the catch would never have been returned."
SS has called on Oz/NZ authorities and international enforcement agencies to locate Taishan/Kunlun, which carries an Interpol Purple Notice.
Sadly, there's no chance of New Zealand doing anything...not while we have that weak womble, 'Muddling' Murray McCully, as our Foreign Munster! The guy is so pathetically limp-dicked that he wouldn't let our Navy board Taishan/Kunlun in Antarctic waters when we had the chance.
If this type of illegal fishing is to be stopped, then NZ must grow some balls when a poaching vessel is intercepted. Waiting for these ships to reach port and relying on local laws has failed to stop Taishan/Kunlun. In fact, the vessel's owners are now laughing all the way to the bank! LITERALLY!