Primstar trawler detained in Liberia ‘may have been sent off-course by faults’

Date: March 28, 2017

Source & Author: Undercurrent News

The shrimp vessel detained by Liberian authorities for fishing in their waters without a license may have been steered off-course by technical issues on board, Atlantic Shrimpers — part of shrimp group Primstar — told Undercurrent News.

The Star Shrimper XXV — a 25 meter vessel fully licenced to fish in the waters of Ivory Coast — was boarded by Liberian fishery control officers on the allegation it had strayed into Liberian waters.

The vessel was escorted to a Liberian port for further investigation, and the company said it was fully co-operating with all authorities involved.

“The captain of the vessel has clear instructions from the company to take great care to stay inside Ivorian waters. [He] may have mitigating points of technical issues (e.g. mechanical or electrical breakdowns) that have led to this allegation.”

The vessel is a correctly registered and flagged member of the fleet, the company said, adding that it works hard at all times to ensure full compliance with all registration and licencing regulations.

Primstar sells its shrimp under the Friend of the Sea certification — NGO Sea Shepherd, which was involved in detaining the vessel in Liberian waters, noted that had authorities not stopped it, the shrimp would have been sold in Europe and the US as “sustainably fished”.

Primstar is ultimately owned by Dutch fishing giant Cornelis Vrolijk.

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