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Australian Customs officials board illegal Patagonian toothfish poaching boat



An Illegal fishing boat which had been operating in the Southern Ocean has been located and boarded by Australian Maritime officials.

The Kunlun had been illegally taking Patagonian toothfish from Antarctic waters and is wanted by Interpol.

The New Zealand Navy first found the vessel during a patrol of the ocean six weeks ago.

Then the Sea Shepherd Conservation group chased the ship for a week after finding it in Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Antarctica.

Australian Customs officials found and intercepted the ship near the Cocos Islands last week.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the vessel had been monitored for some time.

“They claimed to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea,” he said.

“Equatorial Guinea told us they weren’t flagged and under international law we can board a vessel on the high seas so that’s what we’ve done.”

The Kunlun is on the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) international blacklist of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) vessels.

The New Zealand government said the Kunlun and two other boats had been illegally fishing in the southern ocean for months.

New Zealand’s foreign minister, Murray McCully, said he was pleased officials had intercepted the Kunlun.

“We are of course delighted to see that the Australian vessels have been able to gain access and add to the evidence,” he said.

“We want to put these people out of business and anything that’s going to contribute to that process is very welcome.”


The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been patrolling the Southern Ocean this summer, looking for illegal fishing boats.

The group found the Kunlun near Australia’s Mawson station in Antarctica three weeks ago.

Sea Shepherd captain Peter Hammarstedt said he wanted to see the boat impounded.

“It is a poaching vessel that was originally intercepted by the New Zealand Navy,” he said.

“It was subsequently shut down from fishing by Sea Shepherd and we certainly applaud the actions of the Australian Government in finally taking action against illegal fishing in the southern ocean and boarding the Kunlun.”

He said he suspected the vessel was en route from the Antarctic to South East Asia to offload its illegal catch.

Senator Colebeck said it would be illegal for Australian officials to arrest the boat’s crew because it was on the high seas.

But Mr Hammarstedt said the ship’s crew needed to face justice.

“Australia has every right to arrest this poaching vessel and we now expect to see it brought to the nearest Australian port to see justice done,” he said.

The Kunlun is now heading north and Australia will be watching where it goes.

The Kunlun is one of six ships which is believed to engage in IUU fishing for Patagonian toothfish in the southern ocean.

“We certainly applaud the actions of the Australian Government in finally taking action against illegal fishing in the southern ocean and boarding the Kunlun,” said Hammarstedt.




Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs



The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up



The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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