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Eight IUU fishing countries head towards EU fish import ban

The EU is notifying Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo, and Vanuatu that they are considered to be possible non-cooperating third countries, with regard to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The notifications are based on these countries consistent failures  to cooperate and to enforce measures against IUU vessels operating under their flag, failure to implement international rules set by RFMOs and being engaged in trade in products of IUU fishing. The decision follows the findings of missions conducted by the EU in several third countries. Factors leading to the EU's decision were refusal to enter into dialogue with the EU, lack of action to address established shortcomings, existence of deficiencies in monitoring, control and surveillance of fisheries, and the existence of flags of convenience. This is the first step towards listing the countries as non-cooperating, and could lead to subsequent denial of access to the EU market for fishery products, banning vessels from EU ports, and prohibition of vessels purchase by EU nationals should they not address their failures.


TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, fishing, fish, EU, IUU fishing,blaclklisting by EU


A new international fisheries organization for the Arctic?

The Rideau Insititute released this week at a conference on the Arctic a new report Circumpolar Challenges: An Ambitious Agenda for the Arctic Council, by Michael Byers . One thing that caught my eyes was Byers' comments on the potential for expanded fisheries in the Arctic as the ice cover continues to melt. In this report Byers recommends, inter alia, the establishment of a regional fisheries organization for the Arctic, as a precautionary measure in anticipation of intensified fishing there as the ice melt continues. This echoes a call by the Pew Enivormental Group in 2012 for a new international fisheries agreement to protect the Central Arctic Ocean. Byers argues that it can sometimes be easier to find the poltical will to conclude a treaty before national interests and public opinion are fully engaged, e.g. before expanded fisheries are developed there. Whether the Arctic Counicil is the appropriate vehicle to pursue such an agreement is an open question since the EU which has jurisdiction over fisheries of some of the potential players is not a member of the Council. But obviously the suggestion deserves further consideration and it is in Canada's interest to advance such a discussion.

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, fishing, Arctic, international fisheries organization, Michael Byers, Rideau Institute, Arctic Council



Think Tank Recommends Freeze on EU fisheries

A London-based economics think tank has called for freezing fishing in Europe, saying most fish stocks would return to sustainable levels within five years. The New Economics Foundation (Nef) argues in its report that the suspension would generate billions of pounds in profits by 2023. Overfishing  remains a major issue for the EU, where 75% of stocks are still overfished and catches are only a fraction of what they were 15-20 years ago, according to the NEF. The think tank calculated that private investment of £9.16bn (11.4bn euros; $14.7bn) to manage the fishing freeze would generate profit of £4.43bn by 2023. "By 2052, the returns are £14 for every £1 invested," it said. Industry reps as expected have slammed the report. Commissioner Damanaki claims that overfishing in the North-East Atlantic, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea had been reduced from 72% in 2010 to 47% in 2012.  She has said that the number of stocks being fished sustainably had risen from 13 to 19.

TAGS: sustainable, fish, fisheries, EU, unsustainable fishing, freeze EU fisheries, NEF


NAFO- strengthened or more of the same?

According to DFO, "the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) adopted a wide range of enhanced measures to protect or rebuild key fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic and to strengthen protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems." They claim that the total allowable catch decisions made at the 2012 meeting are in line with scientific advice and "the continued rebuilding of the 3M cod and 3LN redfish stocks is a clear indication that the Organization's efforts are paying off." There will continue to be no directed fishery for the following stocks: American plaice (Divisions 3LNO and 3M), capelin (Divisions 3NO), cod (Divisions 3LNO), northern shrimp (Divisions 3M and 3NO), and witch flounder (Divisions 3LNO).

DFO also claims that NAFO agreed to take "concrete and targeted actions to strengthen certain catch reporting provisions, particularly to improve the level of detail and precision of catch verification data for monitoring and compliance purposes, as well to improve the information systematically provided to the Scientific Council in order to support scientific advice."

Building on its incomprensible decision in 2009 to ratify proposed amendments to the NAFO Convention that weakened rather than strengthened NAFO, Canada urged all Contracting Parties who had not done so to ratify the amended Convention. So far  5 of 12 contacting parties have ratified the amended NAFO convention.

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, overfishing, NAFO,


Fleet separation policy- Harper govt dropped plans to kill it

Update: On Friday, September 21st,three days after the publication of this post, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield announced that the fleet separation and owner-operator policies would be retained. Kudos to the Atlantic fishermen and NDP and Liberal MPs who shamed the bullies into discarding their intention to repeal these policies. This shows that the Harper bully can be thwarted.

Despite intensive lobbying by Atlantic fish processors, it appears that the Harper govt is dropping its plans to kill the fleet separation poicy that has been in effect for decades, the legacy of former Fisheries Minister Romeo LeBlanc. Though the Harperites are not noted for paying attention to criticism of their proposals, widespread opposition from fishermen and fishermen's organizations has prevailed. The policy effectively prevents large companies from buying up fishing licences and leasing them back to local fishermen.

Conservative MPs are now admitting that fishermen are widely opposed to changing the fleet separation policy. Atl;antic fish processors who thought they would get their way and end fleet separation are angry at the apparent about-face by the Conservatives. Derek Butler, executive director of the NL Association of Seafood Producers , said that the Govt's failure to change the policy is “terrible news.” Butler's members favour a system where a handful of parties could control a much larger share of the fishery. Let's hope that the stories are true and that they will not get their way.

Thanks to the many opposition members who took up the fishermen's cause.

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, Atlantic Canada, fleet separation, policy 



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