Greenpeace exposes suspected illegal fish carrier in Taiwanese port
Press release - 23 January, 2011
Last night, activists from Greenpeace flagship the Rainbow Warrior exposed a Taiwanese owned fish carrier Lung Yuin suspected of violations of Taiwanese fisheries laws moored in the port of Kaoshiung, Taiwan and called on Taiwanese Fisheries Agency to investigate the fish carrier ship (1). Activists projected the phrases "Illegal in Taiwan?", "Investigate and as appropriate prosecute now!" and "Pacific tuna plunder" onto the hull of Lung Yuin, which is bound to collect tuna from the Pacific Ocean.
In 2004, Japan apprehended Lung Yuin for its involvement in large-scale illegal fishing (2). The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has also documented its abuse of workers (3). Furthermore, the vessel does not appear on Taiwan’s list of foreign vessels that are majority-owned by Taiwanese entities despite Greenpeace presenting evidence in September 2010 to the Taiwan Fisheries Agency that the vessel and its owners were one of 276 vessels in violation of fishing regulations which require Taiwanese owned vessels sailing under foreign flags to register.
"To demonstrate that Taiwan is serious about controlling its vast fishing industry it needs to investigate and as appropriate prosecute the Lung Yuin and its owners according to Taiwan’s laws. How can we be sure this vessel complies with international conservation measures in international waters, particularly in the Pacific, if it ignores even the simplest registrations in Taiwan?" asked Kao Yu Fen, Greenpeace East Asia Oceans Campaigner.
With some 1,940 vessels (4), Taiwan operates the largest fishing fleet in the Pacific Ocean, and a large part of its fleet, particularly longliners, relies on fish carriers such as the Lung Yuin for transfer of catches. This enables fish laundering of the already over-exploited Pacific bigeye and yellowfin tuna. Reefers like Lung Yuin sustain the massive international tuna longline fleet at sea, allowing destructive overfishing to continue.
Taiwanese Lungsoon Group, owners of Lung Yuin, own 13 long-line vessels and frequently deliver frozen tuna to Japan’s lucrative sashimi market. They also provide albacore tuna to the US ttuna brands Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and Starkist (5).
"This vessel is a perfect example of the unsustainable plunder of the Pacific. Taiwan should support tighter international regulations to control fishing in international waters, including banning all transhipments of fish at sea and the creation of marine reserves in the high seas pockets of the Pacific where pirate fishing activities are rampant (6)," said Sari Tolvanen, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace International.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans and for a more sustainable fishing industry, both necessary steps to restoring our oceans to health.
Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, is currently in Taiwan on its Ocean Defenders Tour of East Asia. It is campaigning for protection of our oceans and for stopping the depletion of marine species such as tuna.
Arthur Dionio, Greenpeace International Communications, +886 983172785
1) The vessels owners are required to register their foreign flagged fishing related operations under the “Ordinance to Govern Investment in Yje Operation of Foreign Flagged Fishing Vessels. For more information see:
2) Japan apprehended vessel in 2004 for violation of the reporting requirements to the Japanese authority when the vessel stayed in Shimizu, landing frozen tunas. This lead to the large scale exposure of Taiwan’s long-line fleet fishing illegally. See
3) International Transport Workers’ Federation, ‘ITF Seafarers’ Bulletin’, no. 19, 2005
(4)Vessels registry of the Western and Central Pacific Fiseries Comission:
(5) Accroding to it’s Chinese website
Lungsoon provides albacore tuna to the US companies and the vessels port records show frequent calls to Japan’s tuna ports.