Operation Sola Stella

Sea Shepherd combats illegal fishing in Liberia, West Africa

Operation Sola Stella
A partnership to combat illegal fishing in Liberia

In February 2017, Sea Shepherd Global launched a campaign in partnership with the Liberian Ministry of National Defense to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the West African coastal waters of Liberia. The campaign has been named Operation Sola Stella, which is Latin for ‘Lone Star’, the motto for the Republic of Liberia. 

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Assisting Liberia in the fight against IUU fishing

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing, which accounts for up to 40% of the fish caught in West African waters. The resources of the Liberian Coast Guard to monitor, control and surveil all of Liberia’s sovereign waters are stretched. Sea Shepherd's mission is to assist them in identifying and arresting the unlicensed foreign industrial vessels operating in its waters, and to protect the six nautical miles closest to shore reserved for subsistence, artisanal and semi-artisanal fishing, an industry which employs 33,000 Liberians. 

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Latest News
Arrest of Notorious Internationally-Blacklisted Vessel for Illegal Fishing

The F/V Labiko 2, a 54-meter fishing vessel provisionally registered to Liberia, was boarded by the Liberian Coast Guard with the assistance of the Sea Shepherd vessel M/Y Sam Simon on November 15th when it was intercepted actively deploying non-authorized fishing gear in Liberian waters. While the F/V Labiko 2 was licensed in Liberia to use longline fishing gear, they were deploying gillnets, which are a more destructive fishing practice given the high amount of by-catch, or non-target species catch associated with that fishing method.

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