Latest News

19
Sep

Source: SeaFoodSource

Author: Nicki Holmyard

One in four fish in Africa is still caught illegally, despite the efforts of many African nations to overcome the problem.

According to the organization Stop Illegal Fishing, an independent non-profit based in Africa dedicated to ending illegal fishing in the continent’s waters, ongoing efforts are being made by the majority of African maritime states to end illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, but greater momentum is needed if the “New Frontier of African Renaissance” – hailed by the African Union earlier this year – is to come to fruition.

IUU fishing is threatening the sustainability of fish stocks, damaging the ecosystem, depriving governments of income, and African people of their livelihoods, according to Peter Thomson, United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean. And the scourge of IUU is affecting a majority of African nations; 38 of the 54 African countries have coastal borders and many inland countries have vast lakes, which are also affected by illegal fishing and poor fishing practices.

The issue of IUU in Africa has been well-studied, and numerous solutions have been proposed. A report in 2016 by the Overseas Development Institute and Spanish research and journalism group PorCausa used satellite tracking to monitor the methods and scale of the problem, pointing out that transhipments, lack of inspection of containerized shipments, inadequate legal frameworks, poor technology, and a lack of political will were all partly to blame. The report estimated that by developing and protecting Africa’s fisheries, around USD 3 billion (EUR 2.6 billion) could be generated in additional revenue and some 300,000 jobs created.

Continue reading African countries fighting back against illegal fishing

18
Sep

Source: Undercurrent News

Japan’s Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA) will help Global Fishing Watch and the Australian National Center for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong, in New South Wales, with their investigation of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Following a memorandum of understanding signed on Sept. 3, the groups have agreed to share “relevant open public data and analytical methodologies, including vessel movement data, catch data and satellite imagery; collaborate on relevant research activities, and publish research outcomes to advance international understanding on IUU fishing and its impacts,” according to a press release.

They intend to analyze night-time satellite imagery, the groups say, as squid jigging most often takes place at night, using bright overhead lights to attract the squid. Continue reading New research partnership formed to investigate illegal fishing in North Pacific

17
Sep

Source: MarineLink

An international treaty addressing safety in the fishing industry (the Cape Town Agreement) has been developed and adopted through International Maritime Organization (IMO) but is not yet in force because it lacks sufficient ratification at national level.

As part of a major global effort to encourage ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Agreement, IMO and The Pew Charitable Trusts organised a roundtable event during the Global Fishery Forum in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation (13 September).

IMO’s Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety provides a solid platform for improving fishers’ safety at sea and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by facilitating better control of fishing vessel safety by flag, port and coastal States. It currently has 10 Contracting States, but needs 22 for entry into force, along with a required number of aggregate fishing vessels.

Continue reading Global Fishery Forum on Fishing Vessel Safety

15
Sep

Source: The Economist

Illegal, unreported and unregulated. The business of off-the-books ocean fishing, abbreviated to IUU by international organisations, is a big one, worth many billions of dollars a year. Estimates of the annual catch landed beyond the authorities’ notice range from 11m to 26m tonnes. That is on top of an official catch of a bit under 90m tonnes a year. Given the belief of most fisheries scientists that even permitted extractions are doing great damage to marine ecosystems, this is worrying. But policing the oceans is hard, meaning that, more often than not, IUU fishermen get away with it.

This, though, is changing. New ways of watching from space may turn the tables on illicit fishing, heralding an era in which keen eyes follow every fishing boat, all the time. At the least, this will make clear who is turning a blind eye to the IUU brigade. The excuse that “we didn’t know what was going on” will become untenable.

Read the full article

13
Sep

Source: EJF

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has documented gross human rights violations and serious illegal fishing offences aboard the Taiwanese Fuh Sheng 11 – the first vessel in the world to be detained for violating new international standards of decent work in the fishing industry. Taiwan had the opportunity to take action against the vessel earlier in the year after its detention by South Africa but instead conducted a botched inspection, announced there were no human rights issues and allowed it to go free.

Crew members told EJF of beatings from the captain, 22-hour working days and serious injuries to crew working in dangerous conditions. They also reported that the vessel had illegally finned sharks, including endangered hammerheads.

In May, the Taiwanese vessel Fuh Sheng 11 became the first ever to be detained under the International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) Work in Fishing Convention C188. South African officials cited a lack of work agreements and crew list, rotten lifebuoys, missing anchors and generally poor health and safety conditions, but the situation is much graver than first thought, the EJF investigation and film has revealed.

Continue reading Abuse and illegal fishing aboard Taiwanese vessel let slip through the net