The vessel SUN FLOWER 7 (IMO: 8513871, MMSI 441034000) is a Refrigerated Cargo Ship built in 1986 and currently sailing under the flag of Korea
Thai police want Korean ship sent home for illegal fishing
Monday, March 27, 2023, 05:00 (GMT + 9)
The South Korean vessel “Sunflower 7” will be asked to leave Thailand as soon as possible because it is suspected of using illegal fishing gear and fishing in waters it had no permission to fish in, Deputy National Police Chief General Surachet Hakparn said on Thursday.
“We all have the responsibility to show the world that Thailand does not support illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,” Surachet said.
The vessel has been docked at Bangkok Port in Khlong Toei district since January 24, where it has tried to unload more than 4,000 tonnes of tuna worth 250 million baht (U$D 7.3M), said Surachet, who supervises the police taskforce on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
A joint investigation by police and the fisheries department found that the ship might have been using fish aggregating devices prohibited by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The devices, often used to attract tuna, are banned because they attract other species, like dolphins, as well as immature fish to nets.
A check of the Sunflower’s GPS history also found that it was fishing in waters of the Republic of Kiribati without permission, Surachet said.
He said he had asked the Fisheries Department to issue a notice prohibiting the import of marine products from vessel, as well as an order for the ship to leave Thailand as soon as possible.
Police will track the ship to ensure that it returns to South Korea directly without stopping at another port on the way, Surachet added.
He urged operators of seafood-processing factories to verify the origin of their raw products to ensure that they do not come from fishing vessels that break the law.
Source: The Nation Thailand