The fisheries patrol vessel Atsantsa of the Madagascar fisheries authority surprised the SHUN FENG long line fishing vessel in action fishing illegally, on Friday, September 3 at approximately 200 kilometers offshore Morondava ( west coast of Madagascar) . The SHUN FENG was escorted by the patrol vessel Atsantsa to the port of Tulear and handed over to the authorities. The patrol missions managed by the Indian Ocean Commission, is part of an EU funded regional project for fisheries surveillance in the South West Indian Ocean and it was the 20th mission organized within the project.
The SHUN FENG (Taiwanese Registered) held onboard 3.2 tons of shark fins caught illegally. This represents approximately 65 tonnes of illegally caught shark. According to the Indian Ocean Commission, �this is a serious threat to a fish species considered vulnerable by the practice of shark fining involving shark fishing intensively to retain only its fins popular amongst the Asiatic consumers.� The value of the illegal cargo is estimated at around USD 100,000.
The patrol vessel Atsantsa then resumed its patrol mission with onboard fisheries inspectors of the fisheries control center of the Comoros, the monitoring center for fisheries in Madagascar and the regional rescue center of the Reunion (CROSS - Maritime Affairs). The patrol vessel is a modern vessel, recently built at the shipyard of the Indian Ocean (Mauritius) in 2007 with financial support from the European Union and is currently being used by the Ministry of Fisheries in Madagascar.