WARNING DISTRESSING CONTENT: Sea Shepherd has released a video showing dead dolphins, sharks and many other species, killed by a banned fishing practice.

Sea Shepherd's Flagship, the Steve Irwin, is en route to the Indian Ocean to confront a fleet of trawlers allegedly using illegal driftnets.


Driftnets - an indiscriminate form of fishing - were outlawed by the United Nations more than two decades ago, when they were deemed too destructive.

Sometimes described as a curtain of death the nets are invisible to marine life and trawl through the ocean catching everything in their path.

"Taking advantage of the remoteness of the region, and in the absence of law enforcement, the fleet has demonstrated a resurgence of this out-dated, outlawed practice," a Sea Shepherd spokeswoman alleged.

"The Steve Irwin first intercepted the fleet of vessels engaged in illegal fishing in January 2016.

"Today, Sea Shepherd has released shocking photographs and video of the encounter, showing sharks, dolphins, seals, and multiple species of fish, including critically endangered Southern Bluefin tuna, entangled and dead in the illegal nets.

"The goal of this new campaign, Operation Driftnet, is to confront the vessels while they are engaged in the act of illegal fishing, and subsequently employ direct-action techniques to shut-down their operations.

"Sea Shepherd will also document the vessels and collect evidence of their operations to aid with land-based investigations."

The Sea Shepherd spokeswoman said the operation would involve both land and sea elements.

Campaign leader and Captain of the Steve Irwin, Siddharth Chakravarty said the organisation intended to ensure the United Nation's ban on driftnet fishing was enforced.

"Driftnets were banned in 1992 by a United Nations moratorium," Mr Chakravarty.

"The nations of the world were concerned 24 years ago about the negative impact of this form of fishing. Driftnets didn't have a place in the world's oceans then and they don't today. Our role is to ensure the ban is enforced."