UPDATE 1: Some additional information from the New Zealand media:
The government will be lodging a complaint with the North Korean government after two fishing vessels were caught fishing illegally in the Ross Sea.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says the North Korean vessels were intercepted by an Air Force Orion plane carrying out surveillance against illegal fishing in the area.
The vessels, Xiong Nu Baru 33 and Sima Qian Baru 22, were caught fishing in an area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The Xiong Nu Baru 33 was using deep-sea gillnets, which are banned in the CCAMLR Convention Area.
“Deep-sea gill netting and associated ghost-fishing by lost and discarded nets have serious detrimental effects on the marine environment and many marine species”, said Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a severe threat to the sustainability of valuable toothfish stocks and has caused considerable environmental damage in the Southern Ocean.”
McCully said the detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean was of grave concern to New Zealand.
He said New Zealand had reported its findings to the CCAMLR Commission and lodged its concerns with the North Korean government.
ORIGINAL POST (2011-4-7): According to the Dow Jones Newswire:
Two North Korean fishing vessels were recently caught illegally fishing in the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, New Zealand’s minister of foreign affairs said Thursday.
Minister Murray McCully said the Royal New Zealand Airforce in February detected two North Korean boats fishing to the east of the Ross Sea in an area managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
The boats weren’t supposed to be fishing in the area as they had been blacklisted under other names. One of the boats was also fishing using a banned deep-sea gill net.
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a severe threat to the sustainability of valuable toothfish stocks and has caused considerable environmental damage in the Southern Ocean,” McCully said.
New Zealand is concerned about unreported and unregulated fishing vessels in the Southern Ocean, the minister said, and would be lodging its concerns about these vessels with the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
New Zealand has reported these boats to the Commission and “this should ensure that the Commission’s 25 members (countries) do not allow these vessels to access their ports nor allow the import of any fish caught by them,” he said
You can read the full story here:
New Zealand Foreign Minister: North Korean Boats Caught Illegally Fishing In Southern Ocean
Dow Jones Newswire