Sea Shepherd has helped arrest and seize the largest fish factory vessel in the world! The Damanzaihao, a blacklisted vessel capable of slaughtering 547,000 tons of fish per year, was stripped of its fishing license for illegal activities and is now prohibited from leaving Peru with criminal charges pending.

The case is predicated on acts of illegal fishing that have been “proven beyond all dispute,” Sea Shepherd reports. These same illegal acts brought a multi-million dollar administrative fine from the Peruvian Ministry of Production for the vessel in 2016. Moreover, authorities have also accused the Damanzaihao of polluting the marine environment by illegally discharging fluids and effluents when the ship was anchored in Chimbote.

In April, Sea Shepherd delivered a formal letter to the Peruvian Ministry of Production asking that the government take additional steps in order to make sure that the Damanzaihao would be brought to justice. Peru is now taking a strong stance in the case. Together with its government allies in the country, Sea Shepherd is “working to ensure that the Damanzaihao’s efforts to exploit the oceans are thwarted in the long-term.”

This is incredible news especially considering the dire straits the world’s fish populations are facing. Thanks to aggressive overfishing methods, it has been predicted that the world’s fish stocks could collapse completely within the next 20 years. Illegal vessels like this one only add fuel to the fire, but it is up to all of us to stand up and recognize the role the products we buy play in the collapse of marine ecosystems. To learn more about how you can help the planet by skipping seafood, click here. 

To learn more about Sea Shepherd, click here.