Governance

30
Nov

Source: The Diplomat

Author: Sally Yozell*

26
Nov

Source: ClientEarth, EJF, Oceana, Our Fish, PEW and WWF

Upcoming discussions in the European Parliament to revise the control regulation will be key for all involved in the fisheries sector, including consumers.

Up to one in five wild-caught fish sold at market is stolen from the sea through illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Sales of IUU fishing products are estimated to be worth between $10 and $23.5 billion per year globally.

On 30 May 2018, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal for the revision of the fisheries control system in response to loopholes identified in the current legislation and following the European Court of Auditors’ call for more efforts in European Union fisheries controls. To kick off the revision process that will last two years and involve multiple negotiation processes between the European Parliament, the EU Member States and the EC, a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has issued a list of recommendations on how to ensure a strong future fisheries control system. The NGOs, which include, amongst others, ClientEarth, the Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana, Our Fish, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF, will work with key decision makers and stakeholders in the coming years to ensure that the EU will deliver a robust control system.

Continue reading NGO recommendations on future fisheries control regulation

17
Oct

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

25
Sep

Source: The Maritime Executive

Thailand has become one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to publish a full list of all its registered and licensed fishing vessels, alongside a watchlist containing vessels prohibited from fishing. Making such information freely available is a crucial step in eradicating illegal fishing and human rights abuse in the industry, and marks Thailand out in the region for taking this progressive step, says the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF).

Much of the fishing industry is at best opaque, and at worst operates under a veil of secrecy, says the EJF. Illegal operators aim to create as much confusion as possible around their identities, escaping detection by changing vessel names, concealing ownership, flying different flags or removing ships from registers entirely.

The lists have been published in an attempt to grapple with these problems. The Thai Marine Department website now lists 10,742 vessels eligible to fish in Thai waters. This list contains vital information such as each vessel’s registration number, owner’s name, and port of registration. Thailand’s fishing fleet has been an unknown quantity, with vessel figures varying hugely depending on the data source. For instance, while government statistics for 2015 put the number of registered vessels at 18,089, other government sources declared the figure closer to 57,000.

Continue reading Thailand Publishes Fishing Vessels Lists