Like any business, crime is a wide-ranging company: A bit of kidnapping, a few unclean loans, a little prostitution.
Those responsible – those who make all the money – are never at the scene but prefer to hide behind legal deals while distancing themselves from the criminal activities. Organised crime on the high seas is no different.
From the largest ring calf ship to the smallest dew, usually, the ship’s owner is rarely on board. They prefer to hide their identities through bogus companies, or at least not risk being caught doing an illegal activity on the ship. It has been shown that the same vessels and owners engaged in illegal, unregulated and undocumented (IUU) fishing also smuggle drugs, trafficking in human beings and pollute the seas.
Sea Shepherd crew member and Navy soldiers train at OCEAN WARRIOR.
To bring down a criminal enterprise, you have to be able to fight any illegal activity whenever you find it. Al Capone was not ultimately arrested for murder, he ended up in jail for tax evasion. This idea is behind Tanzania’s Multi-Agency Task Team (MATT). MATT is made up of law enforcement officers from the fields of drug enforcement, immigration, customs and fisheries.
This law enforcement team has been working alongside five Navy soldiers and Sea Shepherd in Tanzania to implement the idea that a single patrol ship is carrying out the duties of the separate border, drug, maritime safety and fishing patrol vessels Can take over. The campaign has been very successful with over 20 arrests, millions of dollars in fines and the fixing of several vessels, as well as the complete closure of illegal industrial fishing in Tanzania’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The ability to pin down ships for any crime has given OPERATION JODARI full operational flexibility. It is not immediately apparent what an overloaded ferry without safety equipment on board, which transports children far offshore, has to do with environmental crime. With MATT on board, we can free passengers from an extremely unsafe location, detain the captain and seize the ferry without having to establish a link to a fishing crime. If you have a task to write about this you can read how to write criminology essay.
It will then be noted that the boat, which is still operated as a ferry this week, is next week with mangrove wood, the week after with illegal fish, then loaded with ivory next month, etc. These boats carry everything that earns them money. It doesn’t matter if they put children at risk, destroy forests or bring heroin into the country, it just depends on whether they can earn from it. Fixing the ships and their illegal cargo hits the hidden owners where it hurts: In their bank accounts.
By bringing law enforcement to the seas off Tanzania, much of IUU fishing and smuggling of mangroves and seafood has been prevented. We may also have saved a few lives by getting passengers from overloaded and unsafe ferries. Our presence in the EEZ alone has resulted in an entire fleet of foreign industrial fishing vessels ceasing operations to avoid inspections and possible fixing. Every single boat we fix is one less boat in the smuggler fleet, and every captain and owner held accountably is one less player in this game that’s all about money.
For Sea Shepherd, this is a new way, and the crew and I are learning new things every day. It is also a new experience for Navy soldiers and law enforcement officers to work with a non-governmental organization (NGO). It was a particular pleasure to see all of us all – with such different backgrounds – come together as a team to fight crime in Tanzanian waters.
Without the global support of our donors and our supporters, as well as our partners Fish-i Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania, we would not be able to do this work. Be assured that all participants of OPERATION JODARI, MATT, the Special Forces and the Sea Shepherd crew, are doing everything they can to stop crimes and dismantle the criminal network that continues to enable IUU fishing.