Australian officials and Greenpeace representatives are particularly concerned about the appearance of longliners in protected Antarctic Treaty waters, at least two of them operating under Uruguayan flag.
The two longliners sighted last January in Prydz Bay and Mawson station next to continental Antarctic apparently are the Ghana registered "Nova Tuna 1" and the Mauritania flagged "Kambott". However these vessels according Australian officials are exceedingly similar to two Uruguayan flagged longliners which in April arrived in Maputo, Mozambique, "Dorita" and "Arvida 1".
"Indeed Nova Tuna 1 is indistinguishable from the vessel "Dorita" andy "Kambott" from "Arvisa", indicated Mr. Tony Press from the Australian Antarctic Division.
According to Greenpeace "Arvisa 1" was previously called "Camouco" and was caught by the French navy poaching in the island of Crozet in September '99.
Mr. Press said that the Australian government made presentations both to the Mozambique and Uruguay governments in an attempt to prevent documentation from being given for the catches of 100 and 150 tonnes.
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Quentin Hanich said Uruguay appeared to have granted documents for on of the catches "contravening international agreements since Uruguay is a member of CCAMLR.
"Rather than confiscating these vessels and their catches, Uruguay has actively supported these pirates by authorizing their CCAMLR catch documents, making it easier for them to launder their catches through legal markets", insisted Hanich.
Apparently the incident only was made public in April so as to report to all CCAMLR members what was happening in the treaty's global nature reserve and to prevent the vessel's catches from being legally landed.