Friday, January 31, 2014

International Ocean Roundup I

We're going to try to do a better job of getting these International Ocean Roundups posted every Friday (previously called Illegal Fishing Roundup).  Here's the first one of 2014.


Chile and Peru’s Pacific Dispute
South America – 28 January 2014 – The Economist
ON JANUARY 27th the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave its ruling in a case brought in 2008 by Peru, which claimed around 38,000 sq km of the Pacific Ocean from Chile. In the run-up to the verdict, both Peruvians and Chileans were transfixed by the issue. In a judgment that seemed arbitrary but broadly fair, the court allowed both sides to claim victory.

New York man pleads guilty to smuggling nearly 40,000 piranhas into the U.S.
United States – 30 January 2014 –
New York City resident Joel Rakower bit off more than he could chew when he smuggled nearly 40,000 piranhas into the United States.

Is whale watching with drones next big trend?
United States – 29 January 2014-
Endangered fin whale is videotaped via unmanned aircraft off Southern California, raising questions and concerns about how this might affect the mammals.

Bloomberg Philanthropies grants $53m to combat chronic overfishing
United States – 28 January 2014 – Financial Times
Michael Bloomberg’s fondness for fish is already well known thanks to the luminous tropical fish tanks that dot the offices of the billionaire’s sprawling global media empire. The former New York City mayor is about to go a step further, however, with a $53m grant from his Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation to combat the chronic overfishing some experts say is threatening the world’s fish supply.

Joint US-New Zealand voyage to study orange roughy
United States -31 January 2014 –
Commercial fishing’s effect on the marine ecosystem is the subject of a joint United States and New Zealand scientific expedition in the South Pacific, and it is expected to come under scrutiny.


Ten border guards 'drowned' in sea tragedy as they inspected an 'illegal' fishing boat off Sakhalin
Russia – 26 January 2014 – The Siberian Times
Four bodies found, search underway for the other six on board a capsized patrol boat in poor weather. The crew were all from the Russian Federal Security Service's (FSB's) border directorate for Sakhalin Region, and they were lost performing their duties.

Higher penalities for illegal fishing in Fiji
Fiji – 30 January 30, 2014 –
The Fijian cabinet has approved the Offshore Fisheries Management (Amendment) Decree 2014 which features higher penalties meted out to operators found engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Political group says fixing tuna issue too little too late
Fiji – 28 January 2014 – Radio New Zealand International
The Fiji political opposition grouping, the United Front for a Democratic Fiji says the fisheries ministry has failed to address problems in the tuna industry with urgency. Radio program.

Inside the world's biggest shark abattoir: shocking pictures show scale of slaughter
Hong Kong – 28 January 2014 – South China Morning Post
A Hong Kong-based conservation group claims a Zhejiang company is running the world's largest shark abattoir, processing hundreds of endangered specimens a year to produce health supplements and meat for restaurants.
See also – Mass Slaughter of Vulnerable Shark Species in China, Wildlife Group Says – International NY Times

This Time Australia Has Blood on its Hands from Protected Marine Species
Australia – 26 January 2014 – Maritime Executive
Sea Shepherd Australia reports that in the early hours of yesterday morning the fisherman hired to perform what it calls Western Australian premier Colin Barnett's dirty work of killing protected species, went out to check drum lines as part of the new shark cull program off the Western Australian Coast.

Ocean rescue sparks double inquiry
New Zealand – 27 January 2014 – Radio New Zealand International
Investigations are underway into an incident on a foreign fishing boat which left a fisheries observer with his left arm partially-amputated on Friday.

Sea Shepherd footage shows hunters hauling four dolphins from water at Taiji, Japan
Japan – 28 January 2014 –
MORE distressing footage has emerged of Japanese hunters hauling a pod of four Pacific white-sided dolphins from the ocean, as activists try to stop it.

Ocean's chimney effect studied in Guam
Guam – 27 January 2014 – Radio New Zealand International
Dozens of scientists have converged on Guam to study a so-called chimney effect given off by the warm waters around the territory, and the influence it has on the global climate.

Samoa hosts second UN SIDS planning meeting
Samoa – 27 January 2014 – Radio New Zealand
The venues for the United Nations Small Island Developing States conference to be held in Samoa in September are under the watchful eyes of a UN planning team now in Apia for a week-long meeting with the government. They are meeting the Samoa government this week to look at preparations for the 2014 third international conference on Small Island Developing States, with 3,000 delegates expected to attend.

American Samoa fishing association hopeful about industry's future
American Samoa -27 January 2014 – Radio New Zealand International
The American Samoa longliner group, Tautai Fishing Association, says if federal and local government, port owners and industry members work together, its suffering industry could be saved.

Groups join forces to push trawler ban
Australia – 30 January 2014 –
Recreational fishers and conservation groups have today launched a joint campaign calling on political parties to make pre-election commitments to permanently ban super trawlers from coming to the state.

Patrolling near Odisha’s turtle nesting site resumes
India – 30 January 2014 –
Authorities resumed patrolling near Odisha's Gahirmatha beach, one of world's largest turtle nesting sites, days after it was stopped following a row over the killing of a fishermen in the region, an official said Thursday.

Shark fin demand down in S'pore amid extinction threat
Singapore – 30 January 2014 –
The demand for shark fin soup has been declining in recent years, according to restaurants, hotels and suppliers in Singapore, while observers say that sharks could still face extinction in the next 10 years.

US pledges to keep its presence in the Pacific
Solomon Islands – 31 January 2014 –
The United States government pledges to maintain its presence in the Pacific as part of building its friendship with island nations.

Europe –MENA

Anglers are our allies against unsustainable industrial fishing
U.K. – 24 January 2014 –
British anglers and sport fishers bring more benefits to the economy, but a flawed policy alienates them completely.

Deal on Fisheries Subsidies may Undermine Attempts to End Overfishing
E.U. – 30 January 2014 –
Negotiating teams from the European Parliament, Agriculture and Fisheries Council and European Commission reached a political deal on how to allocate €6.7 billion of subsidies to the EU fisheries industry. However, WWF says that it may undermine attempts to end over-fishing.

25% Spanish Tuna Products Involve Fraud
Spain – 29 January 2014 –
In Spain, one in four products made with fresh or frozen tuna has been found to have been fraudulent labelling, according to a European study conducted by CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council.

Scapeche reaches compromise with WWF, Bloom on deep-sea fishing
France – 31 January 2014 –
Scapeche, the fishing fleet owned by French retailer Intermarche, will stop deep-sea bottom trawling below 800 meters by early 2015, as part of an agreement with NGOs.


Mauritius – 24 January 2014 – African Press Organization
On 27 January at La Plantation Hotel in Balaclava, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will celebrate the renewal of their partnership under the EU-funded Programme to Promote Regional Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa – Indian Ocean region, better known under its acronym MASE.

Suspected Pirates Arrive in Seychelles
Seychelles – 30 January 2014 –
Five suspected pirates arrived in Seychelles on Wednesday to be prosecuted following an unsuccessful attack in the Gulf of Aden earlier this month. The five suspects allegedly used the Dhow as a mothership to launch an attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden a day earlier.

Ivory Coast Rebuilds Navy to Battle Growing Piracy Threat
Ivory Coast – 30 January 2014 –
Ivory Coast is adding around 40 new vessels to its depleted navy as it confronts a growing threat from pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, the country’s defence minister said on Tuesday.

Tanzania: Anti-Poaching Cases to Be Fast-Tracked
Tanzania – 30 January 2014 –
CHIEF Justice Mohamed Chande Othman on Wednesday said that the Judiciary is supporting the anti-poaching campaign, dubbed Operation Tokomeza and would give special attention to all cases filed against persons allegedly linked with crimes committed during its execution.

Top Priorities for African Continent in 2014: Dealing with Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in Gulf of Guinea
Africa – 30 January 2014 – Sudan Vision
Options for suppressing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea are more constrained than policy options available off of Somalia. Nonetheless, some important short-term measures are available and need to be deployed in conjunction with determined efforts to address some of the long-term and deeply rooted causes of piracy and the lack of rule of law off the coast of West Africa.

Kenya: President Uhuru Launches Research Vessel in Mombasa
Kenya -28 January 2014 –
President Uhuru Kenyatta has put on notice foreign fishermen who plunder stocks in Kenyan territorial waters and drug traffickers who take advantage of the porous coastline. Uhuru said the country will no longer sit and watch as it loses about Sh10 billion annually to illegal fishing by foreigners.


Pirate fishing steals from poor and wrecks marine environment
Global – 28 January 2014 –
When the Russian owned factory ship Oleg Naydenov was recently seized by armed Senegalese commandos for illegal fishing in Senegal’s exclusive territorial 12-mile fishing zone, it shone a much-needed spotlight on the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, or “pirate fishing” as it is commonly known.

ISSF Needs Year to Decide on Blacklisting Vessel
Global – 21 January 2014 –
The ISSF has pushed back the final decision on its possible blacklisting of a vessel accused of IUU fishing. The organization says the investigation into IUU fishing allegations of a Dongwon owned vessel are still ongoing. The outcome, that was supposed to be reached at the close of 2013, is now postponed again and only expected to materialize in spring this year.

Use of ‘fish aggregating devices’ could be unsustainable
Global – 28 January 2014 – Nature
Scientists are beginning to assess impact on fisheries.

Groups urge boycott of NBC Olympics telecasts over Russian exhibit
Global – 27 January 2014 –
Animal welfare groups are calling for a boycott of NBC's telecasts of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next month over the host nation's treatment of whales and dolphins.

How Do You Find A Ghost Ship?
Global – 24 January 2014 –
A lost vessel with disease-ridden rats is about to hit Britain's shores, according to reports. But how do you lose a ship... and how can you locate it again?


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