Illegal Fishing and Shark Poaching

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March 7th 2017

This Mahein’s Thoughts Report No.14 relates to the activities of Hong Long Fisheries Company Ltd, and their fishing activities on the south coast of Timor-Leste. This has involved catching sharks, which are a protected species in Timor-Leste.

Since this company received permission from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on November 15, 2016 to conduct fishing in Timorese waters, they have caught over 416 tons of fish, including 43.6 tons of sharks using their 15-vessel fleet.

The Government has responded through a letter from the Prime Minister, calling for an investigation of Hong Long Fisheries. An investigation team is being formed from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior, Maritime Police Unit, Criminal Investigation Service, F-FDTL Naval Component and Migration Services and Taxes.

This report is a civil society perspective on the on the fishing of protected species, which identifies infractions of Timorese law by Hong Long Fisheries Ltd, the process involved in acquiring commercial fishing licenses, deficiencies in Government responses to protect Timor-Leste’s natural maritime resources, mechanisms available to regulate such activities and policy recommendations for the Timorese Government.

For more details on this issue, please contact:



Nélson Belo
Executive Director of FM
Phone: +670 78316075 or 7756 1184

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