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Vessel intercepted in Revillagigedo Archipelago marine reserve

by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 3 Dec 12:55 UTC
Operation Treasured Islands - Poacher Deterrent © Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

On October 31, Sea Shepherd's ship, the M/V Sharpie, detected a suspected fishing vessel 2.5 miles within the limits of the Revillagigedo Archipelago marine reserve in Mexico. All fishing is banned in this area - a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest marine protected area in North America.

Working with Mexican authorities from the Navy, the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fishing (CONAPESCA), the Federal Agency for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), Sea Shepherd approached the ship to capture evidence of its activities.

As we drew near, the suspected fishing vessel, identified as Mexican-flagged purse seiner Maria Veronica, attempted to flee and accelerated toward the boundary of the refuge. The Sharpie intercepted the vessel at the edge of the reserve. The Maria Veronica denied any wrongdoing even though its crew had been witnessed retrieving fishing gear from the water.

Earlier, Sea Shepherd identified two other suspected fishing vessels in the marine reserve. After the encounter, the ships fled the area. CONANP, in direct communication with CONAPESCA, officially confirms that there are no other vessels inside the refuge at the moment and recognizes the good work that Sea Shepherd's presence has in the national park.

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