Shipping company Seatrade has again sent a vessel to transport frozen fish out of occupied Western Sahara.
The reefer vessel 'Nova Florida' today entered the harbour of Dakhla to ship frozen fish from occupied Western Sahara. The vessel has a carry capacity of over 6000 tonnes.
The vessel is in the fleet lists of the Dutch-Belgian company Seatrade. The vessel is owned and managed by Seatrade Groningen BV and operated by Seatrade Reefer Chartering NV, located in Antwerp, Belgium.
'Nova Florida' appears both on the fleet lists of the Dutch and the Belgian divisions.
The photo above and below, taken in the waters offshore Dakhla last year, shows another Seatrade vessel, the Seatrade Asiatic, loading cargo from a fishing vessel.
"It is sad that Belgian companies take part in the unethical plunder of the Western Sahara fish stocks. The fish of Western Sahara belongs to the Saharawi people, not the Moroccan companies or Moroccan government", stated Sara Eyckmans, the Belgium based coordinator of Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW).
Eyckmans explains that WSRW will contact the company to ask what it is doing in the territory. The Dutch government specifically urges its companies to not carry out business activities in Western Sahara.
The refugees from Western Sahara, that fled the country as Morocco invaded, receive canned fish from China as humanitarian aid from Sweden - once every two months. These refugees are the owners of the fish that Seatrade is shipping from Western Sahara. It is not yet known to which port internationally that Seatrade will transport the unethical goods.
The part of Western Sahara where the Seatrade called in today, was illegally and brutally annexed by Morocco in 1979. “The General Assembly deplores greatly the deterioration of the situation after Western Sahara continues to be occupied by Morocco and that the occupation has been expanded", the UN General Assembly stated regarding that part of Western Sahara.
A number of shipping companies that made fish transports from occupied Western Sahara stopped carrying out such activity after they were made aware of it. See for instance Norwegian shipping companies here and here.
'Nova Florida' seems now to be lying right next to the Russian vessel 'Admiral Starikov', loading fish. In 2008, WSRW took photos of 'Admiral Starikov' bunkering at Las Palmas in between fishing in Western Sahara. After a several months long break, 'Admiral Starikov' returned to Western Sahara waters this Christmas week, following a new fisheries agreement signed between Russia and Morocco
The fish stocks of occupied Western Sahara have not only attracted the interest of the Moroccan fleet: other foreign interests are also fishing in the occupied waters through arrangements with Moroccan counterparts. Along the Western Saharan coastline, a processing industry has emerged.
Russian and Moroccan representatives recently met to further discuss a new fisheries agreement covering the waters offshore occupied Western Sahara, but a new deal seems still pending.
The export of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara has never been lower than in 2019. This is revealed in the new WSRW report P for Plunder, published today.
Morocco shipped 1.93 million tonnes of phosphate out of occupied Western Sahara in 2018, worth an estimated $164 million, new report shows. Here is all you need to know about the volume, values, vessels and clients.