Friday, October 25, 2013

Illegal Fishing Roundup VII

Nauru - October 15, 2013 – Radio New Zealand International
The Nauru District Court has fined a Spanish fishing vessel and its crew about one million US.

Australia – October 18, 2013 – Newcastle Herald
Ocean yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen came home from the sea this year determined to tell the world about the horror that he saw beyond the horizon.

Greece – October 22, 2013 – Financial Times
As if years of economic and financial turmoil were not enough, Greece has lost its crown as the world’s biggest producer of sea bass and bream – to Turkey.

Pacific – October 18, 2013 – Radio New Zealand International
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, says the introduction of its vessel day scheme has helped the Pacific gain increasing control over its tuna resource.

Sri Lanka – October 20, 2013 – Sri Lanka Navy
Naval personnel attached to SLN Dockyard of the Eastern Naval Command on routine patrol arrested 24 persons with 04 FGDs engaged in illegal fishing using purse seine nets on 19th October 2013 in the seas off Dutch Bay in Trincomalee.

Africa – October 19, 2013 – The Olive Press
A SPANISH fishing boat has been fined €5,000 for illegally fishing off the coast of Africa.

Liberia – October 21, 2013 –
The Bureau of National Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and the Collaborative Management Association (CMA) in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, have signed an agreement to prevent illegal fishing in the county.

Pacific – October 21, 2013 – Samoa Observer
More than 1,000 vessels were sighted over 10 days in the region’s biggest surveillance exercise, an annual event that includes Samoa.

Taiwan – October 18, 2013 – The China Post
A Taiwanese fishing boat and its crew were being detained yesterday by Russian authorities after they were arrested for allegedly fishing within the country's economic waters earlier this month, Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (柯森耀) said yesterday.

Australia – October 22, 2013 – The Fish Site
HMAS Wollongong, together with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), has apprehended four Indonesian boats suspected of illegal fishing in Australian waters.

EU – October 22, 2013 –
In a world of giant trawlers and fish-farming operations, Gwenaël Pennarun still sets out most days from this Breton village to catch sea bass the old-fashioned way, with baited hooks.

Brussels – October 23, 2013 –
The European Parliament has voted down proposals to subsidize the construction of more fishing vessels and has set caps on public spending on fleets in a move by the legislature to contain overfishing.

Pacific – October 2013 –
When Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) observer Chris Ragi (not his real name) boarded a tuna purse seiner fishing boat for the first time in 2009, he did not know what to expect.

Australia – October 24, 2013 – ABC News Australia
Three illegal Indonesian fishing boats intercepted by the Royal Australian Navy and Customs off the Northern Territory coast this month have been destroyed in Darwin.

Sierra Leone – October 24, 2013 – Energy FM
Money donated by the International Development Committee is helping fight illegal fishing in Sierra Leone.

Costa Rica – October 23, 2013 – The Costa Rica News
A group of environmental organizations has called on the Costa Rican government to reform the National Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca) in order to avoid trawling and illegal fishing in protected sites.
United States – October 24, 2013 – Islands Business
The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WPRFMC) has reached the conclusion that the United States ought to refuse the reduction in the existing bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) quota along the Hawaiian coast.

European Union – October 24, 2013 – Brussels Office Weblog
This summer, representatives from the Cook Islands and the European Union (EU), met in Rarotonga, Cook Islands to discuss and begin negotiations on a Sustainable Fishing Partnership Agreement (SFPA).

Republic of Korea – October 24, 2013 – The Jet Newspaper
The relationship between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Pacific Island countries (PICs) has been further strengthened this week at the 2nd Korea-Pacific Islands Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Seoul, Korea.

European Union – October 22, 2013 –
The European Commission (EC) has welcomed the outcome of the first meeting of the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement (SIOFA) held in Melbourne, Australia. Several key decisions were taken on the setting up of the organisation and intersessional work that will lead to a fully operational organisation.

Peru – October 21, 2013 –
The head of the Regional Directorate of Production (Direpro) of Piura, Lizardo Ayon Valdivieso, asked the national government to impose a ban on the catch of mackerel (Scomber scombrus) in the north of the country due to the high level of illegal fishing.

Sri Lanka – October 22, 2013 – Times Online
At least 113 persons were arrested while engaged in illegal fishing in the Trincomalee area at the over the past two days, a senior naval official said today.

Somalia – October 23, 2013 -  Somalilandpress
A recent Illegal Unregulated and Unreported [IUU] Fisheries workshop held in Djibouti by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development [IGAD] for East Africa and facilitated by the Fish I Africa Organisation and the African Maritime Safety and Security Agency finalised in an unanimous decision from the high level delegates to formalise the development of a task force focused on the advancement of sustainable fisheries for the Horn of Africa sub regions.

EU – October 24, 2013 –
Fishermen will not get European Union subsidies to build new vessels for the bloc's already swollen fleet, EU lawmakers agreed on Wednesday (23 October), in a vote that raised hopes for an end to decades of over-fishing in Europe.

EU – October 24, 2013 – (subscription required)
Earlier this month the European Council of Ministers approved a proposal to force seafood importers to disclose what gear type was used in the capture of their fish and a more detailed description of where fish was caught.

Australia – October 24, 2013 –
A delegation left for China last week to negotiate a deal with South Australian rock lobster and southern bluefin tuna that could be worth up to $100 million.

Japan – October 24, 2013 –
OPRT (Organization for Responsible Tuna Fisheries) a conservation group based in Japan, reports that the  Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) agreed to increase the total allowable catch (TAC) of southern bluefin tuna in next year to 12,449 tons and also in 2015-2017 to 14,647 tons per year, and its recent annual meeting.

United States – October 21, 2013 –
The U.S. Coast Guard says a 59-foot longliner that burned Sunday in the Bering Sea has sunk.

Pacific – October 24, 2013 – Radio New Zealand International
Electronic monitoring of longline fishing boats is being considered as an alternative to on-board observers.

Pacific – October 24, 2013 – Radio New Zealand International
The tuna industry in the Pacific is not meeting its target to reduce catches, and leaders say there must be an agreement this year on new quotas.

Pacific – October 24, 2014 – Radio New Zealand International
The member countries of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission are set to face tough demands at their December meeting.

Russia – October 24, 2013 –
Russia’s supreme arbitration court ruled that all fish caught within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ, 200 miles, or 370 kilometers from the coast), must be subject to export tax, reported Izvestia.

New Zealand – October 24, 2013 –

New Zealand fishing group Sanford said its full-year profit would miss its forecast by NZD 3 million to NZD 5m as a result of lower harvest of skipjack and toothfish, and slow growth in its main Marlborough mussel growing area.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DEMA: How to Ban the Sale of Shark Fins in Your Area

It looks like DEMA is holding a workshop on banning shark fins in your community.  #7 in the Shark Defenders' 10 Things You Can Do To Protect Sharks is 'support the banning of shark fishing and shark products in your community.'

I'm interested to see what the 'model' shark fin ban legislation DEMA has developed contains.  Not all shark fin trade bans are created alike. This chart from page 28 of How World Leaders Are Protecting Sharks by the Pew Charitable Trusts compares the shark fin trade bans in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands (this was written before the laws in Illinois, Maryland, Deleware New York, and American Samoa):

Our opinion is that the Hawaiian law, the first one passed, is the strongest legislation as it is the most comprehensive, has very high fines, and the least exemptions.  Law student Don Gourlie also wrote a guest blog comparing the shark fin bans last year and comes to similar conclusions.

Here is the information for the DEMA workshop:
Saturday, November 9
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
How to Ban the Sale of Shark Fins in Your Area
Speaker: Bob Harris, DEMA Legislative Consultant, Messer Caparello Law Firm
Room: S31OEF
The session will outline how to introduce legislation in your state or community that would make the sale of shark fins illegal.  Join Bob Harris, DEMA Legislative Consultant, for this informative session on how you can help DEMA and the diving industry put an end to this thoughtless practice once and for all.

Session Outcomes:

  • Learn what DEMA and other states have done so far on this issue.
  • Understand the model shark fin ban legislation DEMA has developed.
  • Receive step-by-step instructions for introducing the legislation in your state or community.
  • Learn first-hand techniques on how to get this done.

Shawn Heinrichs at Tedx Boulder

Shawn Heinrichs and Mary O'Malley moments after manta rays were approved for listing on CITES Appendix II
Shark Defenders has worked with Shawn Heinrichs for several years going back to the protection of sharks in the Northern Mariana Islands in 2011. He gave a Tedx talk in Boulder, Colorado a few weeks ago, and we think you should watch it:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Illegal Fishing Roundup VI

Somalia – October 10, 2013 – Maritime Executive
The dock workers at Mogadishu's port have to carry cargo on their backs to clear berths for the ships waiting out at sea. The dilapidated facility has no functioning cranes and the vessels must use their own gear to unload once they make it in. Yet the port is one of the Somali government's main sources of revenue, despite minimal investment over the years.

South Africa – October 13, 2013 – IOL News
The Naham No 4, flying an Omani flag, has been arrested in South Africa.  The vessel has been charged with seven violations of the Marine Living Resource Act and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission regulations, including: entering the South African exclusive economic zone without a permit, failure to produce a fishing logbook on demand, failure to have original licences and permits on board, failure to produce up-to-date descriptions of the layout of the vessel, failure to produce a certificate from the flag state describing the nature of modifications, and furnishing false or misleading particulars.

Alaska – October 11, 2013 – Alaska Journal
A secretive project aimed at developing “criteria to evaluate seafood sustainability programs” was scheduled to begin with an Oct. 9 working dinner workshop in Atlanta. The project is being managed by “The Sustainability Consortium,” a think tank that describes itself as representing “100+ of the world’s largest organizations,” but appears to be an initiative of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which was a founding member of TSC.

Somalia – October 14, 2013 –
EU Naval Force confirmed that on Friday, 11 October 2013, a fully laden super tanker, known as a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), was fired upon by eight armed men in two ‘skiffs’ 230 miles off the Somali coast.

Peru – October 17, 2013 –
For more than a decade scientists and environmentalists have been warning of a mass slaughter of dolphins around Peru.  Hundreds of fishing boats have been accused of killing the animals and using their fatty bodies as bait to catch sharks.

Guyana – October 11, 2013 –
The government of Guyana issued a statement on Friday saying that the Venezuelan government has intercepted a U.S. operated ship conducting seismic surveys off its coast. The crew of the vessel, which includes five U.S. citizens, has been escorted back to Venezuela for detention.

Belgium – October 9, 2013 – Radio Daljir
The European Union wants to help Somalia establish a coast guard service to combat piracy in the Horn of Africa.

Worldwide – October 16, 2013 – Al Jazeera America
Slavery remains a serious global problem, with 29.6 million people in various states of forced servitude, including sexual exploitation, debt bondage and forced marriage, according to a new report. "Today some people are still being born into hereditary slavery, a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia," the report states.  "Other victims are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through 'marriage,' unpaid labor on fishing boats, or as domestic workers," the report continues.

South Korea – October 12, 2013 – Global Times
China's foreign ministry Friday demanded that South Korea properly handle a fishery dispute in which 13 Chinese fishermen were detained for alleged illegal fishing in South Korean waters.

Chile – October 15, 2013 –
The National Fisheries Society (Sonapesca) has expressed "surprise and alarm" over the claim made by a nongovernmental organization that ensures that about 24 foreign vessels performed illegal fishing activities in the Chilean sea surrounding Easter Island.

United States – October 17, 2013 –             
The researchers at Trend Micro have exposed some significant vulnerabilities to the security of the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a ship identification system relied upon by mariners, VTS operators, government agencies, and likely enemies to all of the above to identify and track vessels.

Spain – October 18, 2013 –
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, will ask the European Commission (EC) to consider a reasonable increase in bluefin tuna quotas, taking into account the latest scientific studies.

Washington State – October 15, 2013 –
Investigators say some of Seattle's top seafood restaurants and markets may have unwittingly sold stolen oysters and clams to customers.  Now the shellfish producer charged with trafficking stolen property is preparing to stand trial.

Worldwide – October 17, 2013 –

Africa – October 16, 2013 – The Atlantic
Evidence from the final research vessel to brave the treacherous waters off the coast of Africa in 2001 may have just turned the tables on the accepted scientific view of how—and how quickly—the Sahara became a desert.

West Africa – Pirate attacks off Nigeria’s coast have jumped by a third this year with ships passing through West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities hub, increasingly under threat from gangs wanting to snatch cargoes and crews.tober 17, 2013 – Reuters

Caribbean – October 14, 2013 – Stabroek News
After years of indecision, Caricom is set to adopt a Common Fisheries Policy ( CFP) that includes the development of cohesive trade mechanisms while addressing potential overfishing, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations ( CNFO) says. Executive Secretary of the CNFO Vernel Nicholls told Stabroek News that “illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is what the CFP has to focus on.”

Arctic Ocean – October 15, 2013 – Maritime Executive
The new shipping route opened up through the Arctic by climate change will not be crowded any time soon.

Sri Lanka – October 17, 2013 –
The Sri Lankan Navy today arrested 32 Indian fishermen for alleged illegal fishing off the east coast, taking the total number of fishermen arrested during the last two days to nearly 70.

Australia – October 15, 2013 – Port Lincoln Times
FISHERS will be able to access the latest rules and regulations through a new recreational fishing smartphone app.

India – October 15, 2013 – Sahara Samay
The recovery of carcasses of various marine species, illegal fishing methods and discharge of effluents in the sea , the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has decided on installing CCTVs to beef up security along the coast in a bid to check dwindling numbers at Tharavanthapuram.

Australia – October 15, 2013 – ABC News
A high-profile Tasmanian fisherman has warned in court to stop intimidating a police undercover agent.

United States – October 15, 2013 –
A proposed amendment to the Lacey Act, the U.S.’s oldest wildlife conservation law, appears carefully crafted to address a problem that doesn’t really exist, and actually would create a whole lot of problems no one wants.

Qatar – October 11, 2013 – DNA India
Twenty-nine Indians, employed as fishermen in the UAE, have been sentenced for two weeks for allegedly entering the Qatari waters. The 29 Indians were arrested on September 30 by Qatari authorities and were yesterday sentenced to two weeks in jail by a special court, The Peninsula reported today.

Australia – October 15, 2013 – The Australian
OVERFISHING is putting sea cucumbers in a pickle on the Great Barrier Reef, marine biologists say.

Caribbean Sea – October 15, 2013 – The Yucatan Times
In 2013 there is a sea cucumber thriving black market along the coast of Yucatan, driven by the demand in China where a pound might sell for $300 USD.

Canada – October 14, 2013 – Times Colonist
A $32-million commercial fishery has inexplicably and completely collapsed this year on the B.C. coast.  The sardine seine fleet has gone home after failing to catch a single fish. And the commercial disappearance of the small schooling fish is having repercussions all the way up the food chain to threatened humpback whales.

Puerto Rico – October 14, 2013 – Earthjustice
A federal district court has ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the law by allowing fishing for depleted parrotfish and other algae-eating reef fish species without properly monitoring the fishery’s impacts on rare corals that depend on healthy fish populations.

Saipan – October 16, 2013 – Saipan Tribune
A committee advising the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council convenes this week in Honolulu to discuss, among other things, proposed shark management in the Marianas that includes “directed fishery for sharks” or “indirect catch,” which some advocates say seems to negatively impact the CNMI’s two-year-old law against possession, selling, trading or distributing shark fins.

World – October 16, 2017 –
The IMB Live Piracy & Armed Robbery Report 2013 reported at least 10 maritime piracy incidents this month so far – mainly off Indonesia.

Australia – October 17, 2013 – 9 News National
Australian Customs has intercepted four Indonesian boats suspected of illegal fishing in Australian waters.

Namibia – October 17, 2013 – The Namibian
“THEY are busy killing the river and nobody is doing anything about it!” laments Riaan van Niekerk the owner of Island View Lodge in the Zambezi Region.

United Kingdom – October 15, 2013 – Maritime Executive
Britain's cash-strapped military on Tuesday launched a search for buyers for its sole remaining aircraft carrier, saying it would entertain bids from companies, charities and trusts.

Ghana – October 16, 2013 –
Premiums on marine insurance in Ghana and neighboring countries are expected to shoot up as piracy increases in the Gulf of Guinea.

Belgium – October 15, 2013 – National Public Radio
One of the great conceits of crime fiction is the notion that criminals are often masterminds capable of cleverly outfoxing the cops who are pursuing them. In the real world, the contrary is closer to the truth. Criminals are often not too bright and they are capable of self-defeating stupidities.

The most recent evidence of that is the case of Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a Somali pirate. Abdi Hassan is now in custody in Belgium, having been lured there by a honey pot designed to trap the man who can steal just about everything else. His captors offered Abdi Hassan a movie deal.

ACTION ALERT: Protect Bermudian Waters, Save Sharks

The Bermuda Sustainable Development Department is soliciting public comments on establishing a marine reserve in the offshore waters of Bermuda's Exclusive Economic Zone. This marine reserve will protect many species of sharks.

Will you take thirty seconds to answer four simple questions in a government survey?

The survey consists of just four brief questions.


Please answer YES for Question #1.

Choose OPTION 1 or OPTION 4 for Question #2:

OPTION 1 Yes - Protect three quarters (3/4) of our Exclusive Economic Zone.


OPTION 4 Yes - Bermuda should create a marine reserve in our Exclusive Economic Zone, but I would propose a different design (size, location, shape, and protections).

Copy and past the following comment into Question #3 which also provides an opportunity for you to expand on why we need large marine protected areas, especially in Bermuda. What are your reasons for wanting to protected the ocean?:

"If we made the marine reserve from 50 miles to 200 miles then the new Marine Reserve would be larger than the Great Barrier Reef, and there is considerable evidence to suggest that the tourism benefits would increase significantly without any impact on current fishing or recreational practice."


Thank you for your continued support.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Island Leaders Concerned With Federal Proposal to "Reduce Shark Biomass"

In 2011, conservationists, lawmakers, and students came together to protect sharks in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. The law bans the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins and was followed by a flood of shark conservation laws throughout the Pacific.

In a press statement released last week, the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) that advises the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council announced they would consider a proposal to "reduce the shark biomass either through a directed fishery for sharks or an indirect catch by pelagic longlining." Island leaders are concerned that this federal proposal conflicts with local concerns and culture. From the Saipan Tribune:
Proposed regional shark plan could defeat CNMI’s shark protection law
By Haidee V. Eugenio

A committee advising the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council convenes this week in Honolulu to discuss, among other things, proposed shark management in the Marianas that includes “directed fishery for sharks” or “indirect catch,” which some advocates say seems to negatively impact the CNMI’s two-year-old law against possession, selling, trading or distributing shark fins.

The Scientific and Statistical Committee will meet in Honolulu, Hawaii from Oct. 16 to 18.

Former representative Diego Benavente, author of the shark protection bill that became CNMI Public Law 17-27, said yesterday that the CNMI government should voice out its concerns on the proposed shark management methods, specifically to “reduce shark biomass” as Wespac stated in a release last week.

“I hope that Hawaii, Guam and our other allies such as Palau and the Marshall Islands to come out and voice out their concerns about the proposals to manage sharks in the region,” Benavente told Saipan Tribune.

The CNMI law prohibits possession, selling, offering for sale, trading, or distributing shark fins in the CNMI. It, however, allows catching of sharks for subsistence or non-commercial purposes.

Wespac said last week that fishermen in the Marianas archipelago -- which includes the CNMI and Guam -- have complained for more than a decade about “shark depredation,” including taking of bait by sharks.

It also said one consideration for the depredation problem is to reduce the shark biomass either through a directed fishery for sharks or an indirect catch by pelagic longlining.

Benavente said while Wespac seems to be concerned about fishermen’s issues concerning sharks right now, there seems to be disregard about shark protection and overall marine ecosystem now and for generations to come.

“I am also a fisherman. We also fish in areas where there are sharks but we still manage to catch fish. I just can’t understand why Wespac would suggest that sharks need to be destroyed because of fishermen’s concerns but what about their role in the ecosystem. Are they suggesting destroying ocean resources because of current concerns?” said Benavente, a former speaker and former lieutenant governor.

Wespac said recommendations from the Scientific and Statistical Committee will be considered by the Council from Oct. 16 to 18, 2013.

Angelo Villagomez, with The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., said management decisions should be based sound science, not hearsay.

“There isn’t a scientific study in the tropical Pacific showing that shark populations are healthy and that shark fishing levels are sustainable. On the contrary, every study has shown declines,” he said when sought for comment.

He said sharks are good for tourism.

“Senator Pete Reyes recognized this back in 2007 when he passed some of the first protections for sharks in the eagle ray protection law. Diego Benavente strengthened those protections in 2011. These laws are giving depleted shark populations a chance to recover, which will be good for the marine environment, but also for the increasing number of divers who expect to see sharks and other large predators when they spend thousands of dollars to visit Saipan,” Villagomez said.

Villagomez also said a NOAA-funded study in Guam showed that the biomass of sharks was already four times lower than a similar area in Australia that was a known shark fishery.

He also said the three stock assessments done by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission show that oceanic whitetips, blue, and silky sharks are overfished and that overfishing is occurring. More information is available at

Villagomez also cited a study published by Shelley Clarke in 2012 shows that populations of blue, mako, oceanic whitetip, and silky sharks are declining. (

“Only a few months ago, members of the CNMI Legislature joined the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures in calling for a Pacific-wide shark sanctuary. The WESPAC proposal appears in contradiction with what elected leaders from all of Micronesia, Hawaii, and American Samoa want,” Villagomez added.

Illegal Fishing Roundup V

Africa/Korea – October 10, 2013
EJF documented the Korean-flagged Kum Woong 101 fishing illegally in Sierra Leone’s Inshore Exclusion Zone (IEZ) - an area reserved by law for local fishers using artisanal canoes - on 18 and 19 September. EJF investigators used Satellite Automatic Identification System (S-AIS) technology to identify the 470-tonne Kum Woong 101 fishing within one nautical mile from Sherbro Island, where local communities are heavily reliant on fishing for their food and income.

Africa – October 8, 2013 – The Guardian
Satellite technology suggests that a 470-ton fishing vessel is currently transporting illegally caught fish from Sierra Leone to Busan, South Korea's second-largest city, feeding high demand for seafood in Asia.

Indonesia – October 3, 2013 –
The Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of fishery partnership. The MoU signing was also witnessed by the President Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the President of People's Republic of China Xi Jinping at the Indonesia's State Palace in Jakarta on October 2.

Canada – October 4, 2015 – CBC News
Canadian Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) inspectors have cited a dozen foreign fishing vessels for illegally harvesting 431.7 tonnes of redfish off the east coast of Newfoundland.  Many of the vessels involved have a history of illegal overfishing in waters off Newfoundland and Labrador.

South Korea – October 7, 2013 – Global Post
The number of illegal fishing cases by Chinese boats in South Korean waters reached over 4,600 over the past 10 years, the government said Monday.

Indonesia – October 3, 2013 – The Japan Times
The 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations are now planning to only scrap fishing subsidies that clearly cause overfishing, negotiation sources said Thursday.

South Korea – October 8, 2013 – Yonhap News Agency
 South Korea is considering expressing regret to China over a violent incident in which local coast guard officers were hurt while cracking down on illegal Chinese fishermen, a government official said Tuesday.

American Samoa – October 7, 2013 – Radio New Zealand International
American Samoa’s Senate has given its stamp of approval to a new lease between the government and Starkist Samoa.  The new agreement involves a fifty percent increase in land for Starkist’s tuna canning plant in Pago Pago.

Arabian Sea - October 6, 2013 –
The Canadian warship HMCS Toronto, on patrol in the Arabian sea, made a huge drug bust on Saturday when it stopped a smuggling vessel carrying 180 kilograms of heroin, according to National Defence.   A kilogram of heroin has an approximate street value of $80,000 to $110,000, according to the RCMP, making the intercepted heroin shipment worth hundreds of millions in lost income for extremist groups.

Arabian Sea – October 6, 2013 – CTV News
A commander on board a Canadian warship that seized more than 180 kilograms of heroin says the drug came from suppliers in the Middle East and is linked to terrorist groups.  HMCS Toronto Cmdr. Matthew Bowen said the drugs were destined for recipients in Africa, and would have funded "extremist elements." He said the drugs likely have ties to terrorist organizations with connections to Afghanistan.

South Korea – October 9, 2013 –Global Times
The Chinese consulate general in Kwangju Tuesday requested the South Korean side conduct a fair investigation and inform the consulate in a timely manner for the two Chinese fishing boats suspected of illegally fishing in South Korean waters.

Philippines – October 10, 2013 –
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is to impose a ban on Danish seine fishing, locally called hulbot-hulbot, off the Philippines coasts in an attempt to protect coral reefs and sea grass beds.

Sri Lanka – October 10, 2013 – Vancouver Desi
Sri Lanka’s navy rescued 70 suspected illegal migrants Friday after a fishing boat they were travelling in was found stranded in international waters off the country’s southern coast.

Belgium – October 8, 2013 – New York Times
A senior European Union official called on Tuesday for vastly expanded patrols of Mediterranean waters, as horror mounted over the deaths of hundreds of African migrants near Sicily last week.

Namibia – October 10, 2013 – New Era
Nine foreign nationals, two Angolan and seven Zambians were arrested at Lake Liambezi on Tuesday in a joint security operation spearheaded by the Namibian Police.  The operation at Muyako some 60km east of katima Mulilo also involved officials of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, as well as immigration officials.

Philippines – October 8, 2013 – Mindanao Development Authority
Key players in the tuna industry call for the creation of the Philippine Committee for the Advancement of Highly Migratory Fisheries, a lobbying arm to promote the country’s interests in global fisheries organizations such as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).  

United Kingdom – October 7, 2013 –
At a hearing today at Truro Magistrates Court in the UK, Maersk Tankers Singapore was ordered to pay a total of £22,500 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a breach of UK maritime pollution legislation. For the first time ever, satellite imagery was used as primary evidence in a maritime pollution case brought about by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

EU – October 10, 2013 –
The European Parliament has voted in favour of the Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Mauritania.

Indonesia – October 10, 2013 – Business Standard
China and APEC host Indonesia have signed an agreement to work together on marine conservation and ocean monitoring. They have called on other members to join in as part of the push for sustainable development, an official said here Tuesday.

Japan – October 10, 2013 –
The Japanese government has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to intervene into the case of the Korean government's import ban on fish caught in waters near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power which had been disabled in 2011, according to an official of Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on October 8.

Costa Rica – October 7, 2013 –
Five fishing boats owned by a company of the recently crowned world champion cycling on Route Masters in Italy, Robert Nunez, have entered several times in the protected area of Cocos Island.

Thailand – October 6, 2013 – The Nation
The U.S. says Thailand's labour situation has improved since the government has been seriously tackling the child labour issue, the Thai Foreign Ministry website said yesterday. This improvement would help maintain the custom privilege of "Generalised System of Preferences" between Thailand and the US, thus benefiting Thai operators, creating jobs in Thailand and boosting Thai exports, the ministry said.

United States – October 10, 2013 –
US Senator Lisa Murkowski, along with house representatives Don Young and Doc Hastings, urged the secretary to direct NOAA to immediately issue quotas for Alaska’s king crab fishery to ensure the fishery opens at its scheduled date of October 15.  Meanwhile, fishermen have crews waiting in Dutch Harbor to begin the season, which represents half the yearly income for many Bering Sea crabbers.  They will not be allowed to fish if licenses do not go out.

India – October 11, 2013 – The New India Express
The recently concluded international conference on ‘Ecosystem Conservation, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (ECOCASD 2013)’ has called for a balance between traditional and industrial fishing to achieve sustainability of fish harvest in the era of climate change.

Pacific Islands – October 9, 2010 – Pacific Islands News Association
Sustainable tourism will be a key driver of growth for many island nations in the Pacific even as fears of climate change and possible aid cuts grow, says the head of the Pacific's largest scientific and technical organisation.

EU – October 10, 2013 –
Key rapporteurs on parliament's report on a comprehensive EU fishery strategy in the Pacific region Carmen Fraga Estévez, Gesine Meissner, Maurice Ponga and Ulrike Rodust, offer their opinions on the outcome of parliament's plenary vote.

United States – October 8, 2013 – Star Advertiser
State conservation officers continue to monitor waters off Oahu for large illegal fishing nets after several were confiscated in Kaneohe Bay this summer.

Nigeria – October 7, 2013 – Nigerian Tribune
The military, in conjunction with special forces from the UK, US, Spain and the Netherlands have begun a joint training to enhance its capacity to combat terrorism in the county’s maritime environment.

United States – October 5, 2013 – Alaska Public Media
The state and Coast Guard are responding to a sunken vessel in the Haines Harbor and fuel leaking from the boat is hampering the commercial gillnet fleet that homeports in the harbor.

Philippines – October 9, 2013 – Inquirer News
A TASK force under the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) arrested 33 fishermen after they were allegedly caught fishing in prohibited areas in the waters off Bantayan Island, northern Cebu last Monday.

Worldwide – October 9, 2013 –
On a stormy January night in 1992, out in the Pacific Ocean, 29,000 plastic yellow ducks, blue turtles and green frogs fell from a cargo ship and were lost at sea.  For the past 21 years, these durable plastic bath toys have been floating around the world, passing the site where the Titanic sank, landing in Japan, Alaska and Hawaii and even spending years frozen in an Arctic ice pack.

United States – October 8, 2013 –

A team of researchers in the U.S. has found that jellyfish are extremely efficient swimmers. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reports using a technique called particle image velocimetry to measure the secondary thrust jellyfish use to increase their energy efficiency when swimming.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Illegal Fishing Roundup IV

European Union – October 2, 2013 – New York Times - OpEd
A historical moment for the life of the oceans is at hand as the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament wrangles with proposed legislation to phase out the use of deep-sea-bottom trawls and other destructive fishing gear in the Northeast Atlantic. And yet this crucial legislation could well be killed in coming days, not least because some of the committee’s 25 members represent districts with powerful interests in deep-sea fishing.

Worldwide – October 3, 2013 –
Marine scientists warned Thursday that our oceans are declining more rapidly than previously thought—becoming ever warmer and more acidic and losing oxygen at an alarming rate.  This is all happening in marine ecosystems already damaged by human activities like overfishing and pollution, said the document.

Seychelles – October 3, 2013 –
European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) reports today that eleven people of Somali origin have been convicted today of piracy by the Seychelles Supreme Court.  The pirates were operating from a fishing dhow towing two skiffs approximately 400 nautical miles off Somalia when they were apprehended by the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate, HNLMS Van Amstel, on 11 May 2012.

Somalia – September 28, 2013 – All Africa
The coastguard of Somalia's northeastern state of Puntland have seized three small fishing vessels, a boat and 25 Yemeni sailors off the coast of Bossaso on Saturday, Garowe Online reports.

European Union – September 30, 2013 –
The reformed Common Fisheries Policy will enter into force at the beginning of 2014. The European Commission has earmarked €6.5 billion for the implementation of the new CFP. But how the money will be spent, and how the new rules will be enforced, remain unclear. The ban on discarding unwanted fish overboard is one of the most contentious new rules agreed in the reformed CFP. EU data show that EU fishermen currently discard an average of 25% of their catches, with as much as 70% in some fisheries

Mozambique – October 3, 2013 –
The Mozambican government is setting aside more than US$60 million over the next five years for the transformation of the country’s coastal zone into centres of development.

Worldwide – October 1, 2013 –
The latest UN Climate Change assessment shows the depth that the ocean is suffering with the effects of increased levels of carbon dioxide from climate change. - See more at:

Russia – September 27, 2013 –
The Federal Anti-monopoly service in

Hong Kong – October 3, 2013 –
Hong Kong customs agents have seized nearly a ton of illegal ivory worth about $1.5 million in the third big bust of endangered species products in three months.

European Union – October 3, 2013 –
National and Galician authorities expressed their views against ratifying the fisheries agreement between Mauritania and the European Union (EU) in front of European members of Parliament from different political parties in Spain.

Ghana – October 2, 2013 –
Ghana is collaborating with other West African States to check illegal fishing following the EU’s ban of the export of raw and processed tuna from the sub-region and its member countries. Ghana has lost several million Euros in exports and several workers have lost their jobs in response to the ban.

Russia – October 3, 2013 –The Guardian
All 30 of those arrested during a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling have now been charged with piracy by Russian authorities, and face trials that could see them jailed for up to 15 years. There are nationals of 18 different countries among the group, including six Britons.

Malaysia – October 1, 2013 – The Sun Daily
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission detained eight men to facilitate investigations into a syndicate which had bribed its way into illegal trawling fishing in Malaysian waters.  The syndicate is believed to have bribed enforcement officers.

Somalia – September 28, 2013 – All Africa
The coast guard of Somalia’s northeastern state, Puntland, has seized three small fishing vessels, a boat, and 25 Yemeni sailors.  The fishing vessels were equipped with modern instruments that could lead to a total eradication of marine resources, according to the Director General of Puntland Ministry of Maritime Transport, Port and Counter Piracy.

China – October 1, 2013 – Shenzhen
An illegal 13,000 square meter dock was demolished in the Nashan District of China.  The Shenzhen Evening News reported the dock was used for illegal fishing and smuggling activities.

France – September 30, 2013 – Radio France International
French President Francois Hollande and Mozambique’s leader Francisco Guebeza together visited a shipyard in the northern French port of Cherbourg to watch the work start on 30 boast that are to be built for the Mozambican government.

New Zealand – October 1, 2013 –
A new trawl that has been described as “revolutionary” has been revealed by scientists and three fishing companies in New Zealand.

Editorial – October 1, 2013 –
The future of shipping will, in part, be about data. Big data. We know this because there are a lot of people telling us so, and some of them are in a position to influence outcomes. . .

Italy – October 4, 2013 – Sydney Morning Herald
A ship carrying African migrants to Europe caught fire and capsized on Thursday off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, killing at least 114 people as hundreds were dumped into the sea, officials said.
Over 150 people were rescued but about the same number were still unaccounted for.

Atlantic – October 3, 2013 –
Prices for larger sized farmed Atlantic salmon are expected to fall sharply in week 41, bringing other prices down slightly with them, wrote Anders Milde Gjendemsjo, head of research at Norne Securities, in a note on Thursday.

Spain – October 2, 2013 –
Pescanova, which has made negative headlines throughout this year, recently rolled out a new chilled sushi line for retail.

Russia – October 1, 2013 –
Russia plans to significantly increase its presence in the world’s oceans and to increase the volume of catch outside its territorial waters, according to an official statement of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.

Canada/US- October 1, 2013 –
High Liner Foods of Canada reported on Tuesday that it has acquired the principal assets and operations of the American Pride Seafood group, a US-based value-added seafood foodservice.

Sweden – October 3, 2013 –
A giant bloom of moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) on the Swedish coast of the Baltic Sea forced Sweden’s biggest nuclear reactor to stop operating after the invasion blocked the cooling water inlet.

Canada – October 3, 2013 –
At this year’s annual meeting in Halifax, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) adopted a range of measures to strengthen the conservation and management of key fish stocks and to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) that form habitat for many of those species.

Scotland – October 2, 2013 –
Scotland’s whisky and salmon industries are planning to partner in a project that will convert waste from whisky production into feed for salmon and fish farming.

Russia – October 2, 2013 –
The Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo) is proposing reducing incentives for exports of Russian fish and seafood, through the abolishment of VAT refund and preferential rate for the use of water biological resources.

Florida, U.S. – October 1, 2013 –
The spiny lobster season is off to a good start this year, with fishermen reporting large catches and an increase demand from China propping up the prices.  However, trap robbing has also been a problem this year.

United States – October 1, 2013 –
One troubling casualty of the federal government shutdown is the suspension of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety inspection program.

Thailand – September 27, 2013 –
Skipjack tuna prices in Bangkok are trending down for early October, as large Thai canners look for $1,800/metric ton, cost and freight (CFR) and traders try and hold on.

Philippines – September 28, 2013 –
SIX people were arrested for illegal fishing by police forces off shore Zamboanga del Sur province, the police reported.

Philippines – October 3, 2013 – Philippine Information Agency
Anchoring on the message of President Benigno Aquino III’s during the State of the Nation Address on the “need to rest our seas,” the Greenpeace Southeast Asia led different civic society organizations and stakeholders in Bicol region in the call for action to curb illegal commercial fishing activities in the region, especially in the Burias-Ticao Pass in Masbate province.
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