A Sea Shepherd vessel suffered minor damage on June 28 when it was rammed by a fishing boat while patrolling in the Coiba marine reserve, off the Pacific coast of Panama.
While monitoring and documenting fishing boats engaged in long-line fishing inside the reserve, the anti-poaching group’s cutter, the M/V John Paul DeJoria, was surrounded by five fishing boats at around 3pm local time.
Sea Shepherd informed, citing the vessels crew, that “the fishermen threatened the non-profit marine protection group by throwing items at John Paul DeJoria, while gesturing and shouting aggressively.”
The 110-foot Island class patrol boat was subsequently rammed by one of the five boats and suffered minor damage. The incident, which lasted about 60 to 90 minutes, ended when the John Paul DeJoria departed the area to avoid the situation escalating, Sea Shepherd said.
“It’s high time the Panamanian authorities made this incredibly important marine area a reserve not only by name but also in practice,” Jessie Treverton, John Paul DeJoria Captain, said.
“This area needs to be a zero take zone and properly policed. Sea Shepherd is offering to provide the M/V John Paul Dejoria, resources, and crew to assist the rangers in their important work,” Treverton added.