IMO Numbers

24
Oct

Source: EJF

EJF published a new report showing that the global fishing industry suffers from a shocking lack of transparency, allowing Illegal operators to create as much confusion as possible around their identities; escaping detection by changing vessel names; concealing ownership; flying different flags to avoid detection; or removing ships from registers entirely. This report lays out the ‘ten principles for global transparency in the fishing industry’. These simple, low-cost measures – which include publishing license lists and giving vessels unique numbers – are well within the reach of any country and can play a pivotal role in the battle against illegal fishing and human rights abuse in the sector.

Download the full report

 

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

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