Authorities are investigating a series of blood-curdling crew testimonials.
The News Lens
By: Nick Aspinwall
Warning: Some images in the following report may be disturbing to some readers.
Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency (FA), which regulates the Taiwanese fishing industry, is investigating after a report by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) based on crew testimony revealed illegal shark finning, along with the hunting and capture of protected species including dolphins and turtles, aboard five longline tuna vessels flagged or linked to Taiwan.
The report and accompanying video by EJF, a London-based nongovernmental organization, also detailed potential human rights abuses on four of the five vessels, including verbal threats, salary deductions, physical abuse, and long working hours in violation of Taiwanese law.
Aboard these vessels, which fished in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, dolphins were used as bait for sharks, and shark fins were hidden from investigators at the bottom of freezers before being unloaded at port in Taiwan in the early morning, out of sight from investigators.
According to the report from EJF investigators who traveled to Indonesia to interview crew members of the five vessels, fishermen would harpoon dolphins and drag them alongside the boat until the dolphin became exhausted, at which point they were hauled onto the boat to be used as shark bait. If they were still alive, crew members said they would use a car battery to electrocute and stun the dolphin. [FULL STORY]