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Operation Jodari: A unique crime-fighting partnership

by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 30 Dec 2018 15:44 UTC
Operation Jodari: A unique crime-fighting partnership © Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Operation Jodari began in January 2018 and is a partnership with the government of Tanzania to help in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Law enforcement officials from the Deep Sea Fishing Authority, the Tanzanian Navy, and the Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT) were stationed on board the M/V Ocean Warrior, along with Sea Shepherd crewmembers. These officials have the authority to board, inspect, and arrest vessels in violation of Tanzanian law.

Two vessels were arrested for illegal shark-finning. In one case, the owner and agent of one of the vessels were charged with Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Acts. The vessel was charged with illegally shark finning and pollution, and an illegal firearm used to threaten the crew was found on board.

Following these arrests, 24 vessels immediately departed Tanzanian waters, 19 of which did so before receiving the mandatory inspections. This signals that they were most likely participating in illegal activity, and wanted to evade capture.

After the arrests and fines, there was little to no observed fishing activity in Tanzanian waters. The M/V Ocean Warrior spent several months monitoring an infamous smuggling route, as illegal fishing is often done in conjunction with crimes like smuggling. During the course of the patrols, 27 dhows (traditional cargo boats) were arrested for smuggling illegal cargoes of mangrove timber to be sold on the black market.

The Ocean Warrior also participated in the pursuit of a blacklisted tooth-fishing vessel that had escaped from detainment in Mozambique. The photos and evidence obtained during the chase allowed the Indonesian Navy to successfully intercept and arrest the vessel.

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