Pirates Beyond the Breakers

Today we took the new Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) vessel to the area where the river meets the ocean. This is where they stay on the lookout for pirate vessels – illegal trawlers fishing too close to shore. There is a large sandbar with big breakers that makes the crossing very dangerous, but Amara handled the boat with skill in the large waves today. These illegal vessels are a problem. EJF has tracked a few successfully but they can’t catch them all. If these large vessels are catching the same fish as the canoes, and catching the larger and older ones, they are likely wiping out the reproductive part of the population. That’s a problem if the canoes in the river are catching the smaller and younger fish – the fish populations are being harvested in both life stages. I’ve been told there’s a paper on the catches of these trawlers; I hope that it will give insight into the fishing pressure on the populations by the these industrial boats.

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