The Global Lead News NOV | DEC 2016 - Page 38

The Bob Barker is now in the Canary Islands undertaking maintenance after almost a half a year at sea. The Bob Barker is a strong ship with incredible endurance. Built in 1950 as a Norwegian whaler, refitted as a Fisheries supply vessel and purchased in 2009 in West Africa by Sea Shepherd, the vessel has seen action on whale campaigns in the Southern Ocean and campaigns in the Danish Faroe Islands to oppose the slaughter of pilot whales. In 2015 the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon successfully pursued the Antarctic toothfish poaching vessel Thunder from the coast of Antartica to the waters of Sao Tome Principe, the longest pursuit of a poaching vessel in maritime history, a chase that lasted 110 days and ended when the master of the Thunder scuttled his own ship in an attempt to destroy evidence of his illegal operations.

Sea Shepherd is discussing future plans to return to Gabon for Operation Albacore II in 2017.

The waters of West Africa are being plundered by European and Asian fishing fleets and many African nations simply do not have the ships and resources to patrol their own waters.

Sea Shepherd is supplying ships and resources and that coupled with the power of legal enforcement by a state government is proving to be an effective strategy.