Latest News

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

6
Sep

Source: France24

On Tuesday 4 September 2018, UN member states kicked off two years of negotiations toward a treaty that would finally regulate the high seas, which contain vast troves of valuable plant and animal DNA.  In the morning, two small boats in the East River operated by Greenpeace hoisted banners that read: “Global Oceans – Global Treaty!” and “Our oceans deserve a global treaty.”

“It is urgent they create a strong ocean treaty which allows us to create a global network of ocean sanctuaries,” said Sandra Schoettner, a marine biologist with Greenpeace.

The talks are set to unfold over the next two years in four separate sessions, each lasting two weeks. The key question is how to regulate areas of the high seas, defined as waters beyond national jurisdiction, beginning about 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) from the coast. The high seas cover about 46 percent of the planet’s surface.  The treaty is likely to allow for marine protected areas, and will aim to improve environmental research.

Continue reading UN kicks off talks on high seas treaty