Fish wars erupt worldwide
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:
Fishing vessels don’t fly the Jolly Roger, but fish piracy is increasing from the
Grand Banks to the Bay of Bengal, where crackdowns are underway. Related violence is up
as well. Malaysian marine fisheries head Abdul Hamid Syukor on May 18 disclosed the
seizure of a rocket launcher, five assault rifles, and 600 rounds of ammo from two
Vietnamese trawlers allegedly caught in the act of fish-poaching. The Russian news service
Itar-Tass reported June 5 that a Russian patrol boat “was forced to open warning fire” just
after midnight on June 4 to drive six Japanese vessels out of the Kunashir straits.
Norwegian coast guard ships on June 15 cut the nets of four Icelandic trawlers they caught
fishing in Artic waters and fired a warning shot to keep three others away. One Icelandic
captain claimed the Norwegians tried to ram his boat. Norwegian newspapers predicted an
imminent cod war. On June 18, meanwhile, a French destroyer broke up a net-cutting fight
among several dozen French and Spanish trawlers off the Azores. Violence is also close to
the surface on the Caspian sea, where caviar poachers affiliated with organized crime fight
with the fishing fleets of five nations for the last of the once abundant beluga sturgeon.