Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

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Deanw
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Deanw » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:44 pm

I think Kuswag was more anti-pollution?
How come every time my ship comes in I'm at the airport?

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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Bearcat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:47 pm

ACE MAN wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:40 pm
What was the function of “Kuswag” that patrolled our shores in Turbine Partenavia’s. And why did they stop?
They only had one .. ZS-OYN
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Bearcat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:53 pm

Bearcat wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:47 pm
ACE MAN wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:40 pm
What was the function of “Kuswag” that patrolled our shores in Turbine Partenavia’s. And why did they stop?
They only had one .. ZS-OYN
Correction .. they also had ZS-MGI
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by ACE MAN » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:05 pm

Bearcat wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:53 pm
Bearcat wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:47 pm
ACE MAN wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:40 pm
What was the function of “Kuswag” that patrolled our shores in Turbine Partenavia’s. And why did they stop?
They only had one .. ZS-OYN
Correction .. they also had ZS-MGI
Ja, I remember two. Would be great if the SAAF could take up an active role on this again, or a “Kuswag” type operation including monitoring any illegal activities. Those partenavias were perfect for the job. Edit to say I would give up my day job for that :D

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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Richard Smit » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:07 pm

What about formalizing some kind of compulsory reporting of sightings of any and all other shipping activity by all ships at sea.

Logs kept, audits conducted, etc, as part of their Ops procedures, and as a requirement to maintain their operating certification.

Just a thought....
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Jack Welles » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 am

Relevant to this topic are the establishing of an SA Coast Guard
https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sa-defence ... ast-guard/

and Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy
https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/de ... advert.pdf
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by thelsa » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:05 am

I was under the impression that the Navy at Naval Command Centre, Silvermine had the capability to track and trace anything in SA waters from the size of a zink bath to infinity.
Now this was in the days of the Rooi Gevaar with oom PW and Magnus where a terrorist was expected behind every bush and attacking our shore with every wave.

IS this still in operation or is it just another military depot where people spend their day wondering what's going on here today and when is payday.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Richard Smit » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:09 am

Jack Welles wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 am
Relevant to this topic are the establishing of an SA Coast Guard
https://www.defenceweb.co.za/sa-defence ... ast-guard/

and Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy
https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/de ... advert.pdf
Yep. I read all this too.

Thing is, while there have been a number of proposals, and lots of talk, our coastline, and EEZ continue being plundered.

Maybe now that the government appear to be working at stopping the corruption, and seeking investment, we might be able to get our economy going again. And after that, we might see a budget for this important function.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Ugly Duckling » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:33 am

Richard Smit wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:09 am

Maybe now that the government appear to be working.......
And then a private entity puts up the satelite to do the monitoring. =D>
The government dropped the ball decades ago :twisted:
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by homebuilt » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:40 pm

I have sailed this coast from PE, El to Durban many times in the eighties and nineties and even two thousands and on various occasions almost run over nets being strung between vessels which have no lights at all and fishing within a few hundred metres from the shore. The radio suddenly gets full of excited Chinese or Japanese voices or whatever country they are from as you approach in the yacht and suddenly there are searchlights on the water illuminating the guys in the rubber duck that are tending the nets dragged between the two vessels. In those days there were no cell phones or repeater stations along the coast so for miles you would not be able to contact anyone on the vhf radio. Needless to say that on reaching Durban and reporting the matter to the harbour police, they did not show much interest at all so we decided to just give up on ever catching these guys. Always wondered if the police were not themselves getting a kickback from the profits gathered through illegal fishing. Stocks are just about depleted now so not much activity lately.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Richard Smit » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:12 pm

homebuilt wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:40 pm
I have sailed this coast from PE, El to Durban many times in the eighties and nineties and even two thousands and on various occasions almost run over nets being strung between vessels which have no lights at all and fishing within a few hundred metres from the shore. The radio suddenly gets full of excited Chinese or Japanese voices or whatever country they are from as you approach in the yacht and suddenly there are searchlights on the water illuminating the guys in the rubber duck that are tending the nets dragged between the two vessels. In those days there were no cell phones or repeater stations along the coast so for miles you would not be able to contact anyone on the vhf radio. Needless to say that on reaching Durban and reporting the matter to the harbour police, they did not show much interest at all so we decided to just give up on ever catching these guys. Always wondered if the police were not themselves getting a kickback from the profits gathered through illegal fishing. Stocks are just about depleted now so not much activity lately.
So, based on your experience going back to when the SAAF still had a fully operational maritime capability, it seems that this kind of exploitation has been going on for much longer than we might have thought.

It’s a great pity that we, as a country don’t seem capable, or really willing to protect our natural resources.

I guess it boils down to cost.... It would probably take a huge infrastructure to effectively combat this kind of thing.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Darren » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm

A group within the CSIR has been feeding 'dark ship' tracks to DAFF for some time under the SeaFAR project, which couples low-cost, low-resolution optical satellite imagery and SAR satellite imagery with some machine learning to match dark ships up to their earlier AIS tracks. https://www.defenceweb.co.za/joint/scie ... s-are-off/

There are similar products being offered by others, and of course the Navy has its own long-range radar view, but the problem with all of these approaches is that simply mapping locations isn't enough: For the activity to stop you need to capture and charge ships and their crews, and for that you need both high-quality photographic evidence showing the boat engaged in illegal fishing as well as patrol boats that are able to board and seize suspect vessels, because prosecuting them outside of SA is basically impossible.

Most illegal fishing isn't done closer to shore or well within our EEZ, but right on its edges with ships dipping in and out of the EEZ and scrambling back to international waters as soon as patrol boats are sent out. A number of ships also plunder the waters around Prince Edward and Marion Islands, which are a one and a half day trip for even our fastest vessels.

So every solution to solve this problem soon runs up against the same old dilemma: The only way to stop illegal fishing is to actually catch the ships and prosecute the owners and/or the crews. To do that you need strong photographic evidence that syndicate lawyers can't dismiss in court and you need to be able to board, search, and seize fishing boats that are caught breaking the law. In effect that means expensive long-range patrol aircraft and expensive long-range patrol ships, there's just no way around it.

Of course, solutions like SeaFAR and the proposals given here are still useful because they create better awareness of where illegal fishing is worst and what sort of tactics are used, so you can better focus the scarce patrol and enforcement resources you have. They just can't replace those traditional means of enforcement.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by homebuilt » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:50 pm

One or two trawlers were eventually captured and brought into East London for illegal fishing and undersized nets but I cannot believe that this is all they had on them. International waters is fourty miles offshore and so a three hour trip. The mother ships stay outside territorial waters and the smaller, faster trawlers come in just after dark, do their fishing for three or four hours and then beat it back to international waters before daylight to offload ready for the next night. I cannot believe that the Navy could not send a sub to stay submerged in the area and keep watch on these vessels. That is why I believe that the entire thing is a cover up.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by Darren » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:12 pm

homebuilt wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:50 pm
One or two trawlers were eventually captured and brought into East London for illegal fishing and undersized nets but I cannot believe that this is all they had on them.

That's part of the problem, a lot of ships will dumb anything incriminating as soon as they discover a patrol ship is near.
International waters is fourty miles offshore and so a three hour trip. The mother ships stay outside territorial waters and the smaller, faster trawlers come in just after dark, do their fishing for three or four hours and then beat it back to international waters before daylight to offload ready for the next night.
The territorial zone is 12nm offshore, the EEZ is 200nm offshore. That'll take the DAFF's Sarah Baartman 9 hours to reach if, and only if, it's a direct 200nm run.

However illegal fishing boats often intentionally do their thing as far away from ports as possible, so even if a patrol boat was stationed at the nearest major port it would have to perform a diagonal slant run which would increase the travelled distance substantially. Add on the fact that virtually all of SA's fisheries patrol resources are based in Cape Town and you can see why it's a problem. The answer of course would be to base more ships all around the coastline, but then the cost escalates.
I cannot believe that the Navy could not send a sub to stay submerged in the area and keep watch on these vessels. That is why I believe that the entire thing is a cover up.
The Navy has done this before, notably around Marion Island, but it's not a viable long-term option both because it's phenomenally expensive to deploy a submarine in any area indefinitely and because without then being able to search and seize all of those photographed ships it's a pointless exercise.

There's no doubt that DAFF hasn't done the best job of fisheries protection and could do a lot better with the resources it has, but I don't think many people understand just how insanely difficult and costly it is to adequately patrol and protect a 1,535,538 km2 EEZ.
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Re: Photographing “dark ships” and other baddies operating in and around SA’s waters

Unread post by ACE MAN » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:17 pm

The Aussies I believe guard their coast with the surveillance of the P3 Orions AFAIK , effectively.

When talk of us sending subs this video comes to mind
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