[WILD_SEAS] SSI vessel intercepts longliners

From: wildnet (wildnet@ecoterra.net)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 18:34:16 EST


Sirenian intercepts Costa Rican
longliner Northwest of Wolf Island

March 23, 2001

At 1815 hours on March 22, on its second patrol in the Galapagos Marine
Reserve, the Sea Shepherd patrol boat Sirenian intercepted a Costa Rican

long liner at a position of 01 27' N 091 30' W , just 20 miles NW of
Wolf
Island.

We were en route to Wolf Island on our 3rd day out when a target
appeared on
the radar due west of us. We knew we had a ship on radar and decided to
change course and intercept. We reached a visible range at approximately
6
miles and at 1 mile confirmed the PUNTARENAS registry on the stern. We
had
caught the Canela II out of Puntarenas, Costa Rica , violating the
Marine
Reserve. The Canela II had decided to flee and we were quickly in
pursuit.
It did not take long for the Sirenian to catch up with her and we
ordered
her to stop all engines. On close approach, the Canela II finally
complied.
We lowered the zodiac and proceeded to board the vessel. We advised the
captain that he was in violation of the Special Law for Galapagos and
that
we were going to inspect his vessel. I noticed the wire hooks and knew
that
she was involved in shark finning -- the question was, did she have any
on
board? On inspection, we discovered freshly caught sharks in two of her
cargo holds, not yet frozen. I visually confirmed more than 40 sharks.
We
also found two bags full of shark fins. Her entire cargo was sharks with
the
exception of two marlins.

On interrogation, the captain advised us that he also had his lines down
and
they were at a location inside the Marine Reserve. He had approximately
25
miles of longline, all within the Reserve. We started picking up line at

2100 hours and did not finish until 0100 hours. I counted approximately
10
sharks on the line. We attempted to unhook the line from the first one
but
quickly found out that it was impossible without doing further harm to
the
shark ..it was wrenching to watch and was extremely hard to continue
filming. We were left with only one choice ....cut the line and free the

shark as is as we instructed to do for all the sharks caught on the
line.
We are escorting the Canela II to Puerto Ayora for charges. It is going
to
be a voyage of approximately 24 hours of cruising since the Canela II
can
run no faster than 6 knots.
Intercept position: 01 27' N 091 30' W
Longline Position: 01 24' N 091 27' W

Sean O'Hearn
Sea Shepherd Marine Liaison Officer
Galapagos Islands
-------------------------------------
further information:
SEA SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL
Sea Shepherd International
P.O. Box 2616
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
(360) 370-5500
http://www.seashepherd.org
seashepherd@seashepherd.org

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