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Source: WWF

Continue reading €12.5 million illegal bluefin tuna trade exposes threat to sustainable fisheries in Europe


Source: EJF, PEW, Oceana, TNC and WWF

The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting and the 9th Republic of Korea-EU bilateral summit, both held this week in Brussels, offer crucial opportunities for Europe and Asia – both giants of the fishing industry – to work together to rebuild global marine resources. Increasing transparency on fishing activity is a vital step to safeguard our oceans to protect the rights of legitimate fishers and communities that rely on them for nutrition and livelihoods. To achieve that, the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy and WWF are calling for stronger legislation and country leadership to enhance transparency in fisheries management.

Overfishing is still a major threat to the world’s fish stocks, with many on the brink of collapse. 33% of fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels, with a further 60% considered maximally sustainably fished. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing only exacerbates these alarming figures and undermines any efforts to manage global fisheries sustainably. It is key that major markets, such as the EU and Asia, or any flag state whose fishing vessels operate in the global oceans, view overfishing and IUU fishing as global challenges that need global solutions.

South Korea is a good example of a country in transition. It has a large distant water fleet that was plagued by allegations of IUU fishing. In response, the country developed and implemented bold policies to monitor and control its vessels. 2015 marked a decisive turning point after which all Korean fishing vessels were required to have vessel tracking devices and strict penalties for serious infringements were introduced. Continue reading Global partners for global challenges: The need for European and Asian fishing nations to prioritise transparency


Source: Oceana

Oceana is calling out insurance company Carina to cancel covering the Cape Flower, a fishing vessel that was added in November 2017 to an official intergovernmental blacklist of ships that the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (SEAFO) determined have engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The internationally blacklisted pirate fishing vessel is currently insured by the London-based fixed premium insurance facility that provides protection and indemnity insurance cover to owners of small ships.

“Oceana is calling on Carina to immediately cease providing insurance cover to the Cape Flower and invites Carina to join an international consortium of insurers that have recently signed an industry Statement against IUU fishing,” said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of Oceana in Europe.

Signatories to this Statement have committed to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of vessels officially blacklisted for their engagement in IUU fishing. As of October 2018, the Statement has been signed by over 30 leading insurers, insurance market bodies and key stakeholders from around the world. The Statement is still open for signatures and can be viewed and signed through Oceana’s website.

Continue reading Oceana calls out insurer to cancel contract with pirate-fishing ship


Source: EJF

Around 90% of Ghana’s industrial fishing fleet is linked to Chinese ownership, an investigation by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has revealed. This is despite the fact that Ghana’s laws clearly forbid any foreign ownership or control of vessels flying its flag. The Chinese and Ghanaian governments must now work together to eradicate the illegal fishing practices which are rife in Ghana’s industrial fleet, improve transparency and sanction those contravening ownership laws.

To ensure that the financial benefits from industrial fisheries go directly to Ghana, rather than being sent overseas, Ghana’s Fisheries Act states that these craft cannot be owned, or part owned, by any foreign interest, with the sole exception of tuna vessels.

However, EJF has revealed that foreign companies – overwhelmingly Chinese – operate through Ghanaian ‘front’ companies, using opaque corporate structures to import their vessels and register and obtain a licence. In 2015, 90% of industrial trawl vessels licensed in Ghana were built in China, and 95% were captained by Chinese nationals.

Continue reading China’s hidden fleet: Illegal practices in Ghana’s industrial fishery


Source: CBC

Officials from five Arctic countries and five major distant fishing powers are meeting in Greenland Wednesday to sign a legally binding international accord that will protect nearly three million square kilometres of the Central Arctic Ocean from unregulated fishing.

The agreement, which will be signed in Ilulissat, will prevent commercial fishing in the high seas of the world’s smallest ocean for at least 16 years while scientific research is conducted to learn more about its marine life and resources.

The agreement includes the so-called Arctic Five – Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands), the United States – as well as the major fishing nations – Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union.

Continue reading Canada, EU and 8 other countries set to sign ‘historic’ agreement to protect Central Arctic Ocean