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



Source: RUSI

Author:  Veerle Nouwens* and Cathy Haenlein**

China has reportedly started cracking down on its distant water fleet (DWF), namely, its fleet of vessels that fish in areas outside the country’s domestic waters. The move has come as a surprise to fishing companies and the counter-illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing community alike given the country’s previous apparent reluctance to tackle illegal activity in its domestic fishing industry. However, further momentum can be seen through the recently signed EU-China Blue Partnership for the Oceans, which includes a commitment to tackling IUU fishing. If China’s efforts are sincere, they should be applauded. However, the potential knock-on effects of such a move should also be considered. First, how will China tackle IUU fishing where maritime borders are disputed? Secondly, how might China’s crackdown on Chinese fishers impact Taiwanese fishers abroad at a time of heightened tension between China and Taiwan?

China’s role in the global IUU fishing problem is well-documented. According to a 2018 study by Global Fishing Watch, China’s fishing operations are the world’s largest and farthest-ranging. Greenpeace estimates that China’s DWF is comprised of 2,500 vessels; in 2016, Chinese-flagged vessels were seized off South Africa and Argentina, among other locations. These represent only a fraction of the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) worldwide in which Chinese-flagged vessels operate illegally. In addition to poor controls in these countries, ChinaDialogue Ocean notes that enablers of IUU fishing by China’s DWF lie in rapid growth and poor regulation, weak global enforcement, the provision of fuel subsidies by the Chinese government, and inadequate port checks on incoming vessels and catch.

Continue reading Cracking Down on China’s Distant Water Fishing Fleet: What Impacts Closer to Home?