Friday, February 21, 2014

International Ocean Roundup IV


Now Packed With Drama: Cans of Tuna Fish
U.S. – 18 February 2014 – The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)
The top three canned-tuna brands in the U.S. are foreign-owned, but that doesn't stop them from bickering about which is the most American.

“Buy American” Mud Fight Continues
U.S. – 14 February 2014 –
During the past 3 weeks, has been closely covering the discussions related to the “Buy American” tuna destined for the U.S. school lunch program.

S.F. vendor busted for 2,000 lbs. of shark fins
U.S. – 15 February 2014 – SF Gate
State authorities Friday announced the seizure of more than 2,000 pounds of shark fins from a San Francisco seafood distributor in what is the first major bust under a new California law barring the sale of the traditional Chinese delicacy.

Dolphins suffer miscarriages, lose teeth after BP oil spill - researchers
United States – 18 February 2014 – The New Zealand Herald
Bottlenose dolphins with deformities including missing teeth and lung disease were found in the Gulf of Mexico a year after the BP oil spill, according to US researchers.

Sea Shepherd Successfully Helps Guatemalan Officials to Halt Poaching
Guatemala – 19 February 2014 – Costa Rica Star
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s high-speed trimaran, the Brigitte Bardot has returned from its first successful patrol assisting the Guatemalan Department of Fisheries in its anti-poaching enforcement operations. Asked by Fisheries officials to help battle poaching in Guatemalan waters, Sea Shepherd is helping to lower the impact of illegal fishing of billfish by commercial fishermen.

Costa Rica trying to clamp down on tuna fleet's use of FADs
Costa Rica – 19 February 2014 –
President Laura Chinchilla announced new, stricter tuna fishing rules during her opening remarks at the Fourth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop in Playa Herradura, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, on Monday.


Indonesia creates manta ray sanctuary hoping to cash in on tourism
Indonesia – 21 February 2014 – The National
Indonesia is now the world’s largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead.

MOU To Combat Illegal, Unreported And Unregulated Fishing
Fiji – 17 February 2014 – The Jet
The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests and Fiji Ports Corporation Limited will strengthen Government’s resolve to address illegal fisheries activities around the country.

Amid Efforts to Expand Marine Preserves, a Warning to Focus on Quality
Palau – 19 February 2014 – International New York Times
A generation ago, when Tommy Remengesau Jr. went fishing off the beautiful island nation of Palau, the seas were so rich, he said, that “I could see great stocks of fish.” Such bounty has since dwindled, in Palau and worldwide. “Reckless and destructive fishing practices, overfishing, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing have robbed us of our resources,” Mr. Remengesau, now Palau’s president, told the United Nations General Assembly this month. “They must be stopped.”

Seized ship cost $150k to taxpayers
New Zealand – 19 February 2014 – The New Zealand Herald
A seized Korean deep-sea fishing trawler professionally fumigated after being found to be infested with rats and lice has cost taxpayers $150,000 during its extended Dunedin anchorage. Revelations of illegal fishing, human rights and employment abuse, and the infestation have dogged Melilla 201, which docked in Dunedin almost a year ago.

Korea, China Divided over Illegal Fishing in FTA Talks
South Korea – 17 February 2014 – Business Korea
South Korea and China remain divided over a number of issues, such as illegal fishing, that may prevent early conclusion of their negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), officials here said Sunday.

Monster fishing ship in Pacific, east of Australia
Australia – 17 February 2014 – The Sydney Morning Herald
The world's largest fishing vessel, the factory freezer ship Lafayette, has turned up in the Pacific Ocean east of Australia.

Monster fishing fleet passes through NZ waters
New Zealand – 18 February 2014 – The Southland Times
The world's largest fishing factory freezer ship and its fleet of catcher trawlers has passed through New Zealand's exclusive economic zone around the Kermadec Islands. The Chinese-owned Lafayette, a 49,367 gross ton converted oil tanker flying a Russian flag, uses giant hoses to suck catches from its attendant trawlers.

Govt takes small steps to protect Natuna
Indonesia – 17 February 2014 – The Jakarta Post
According to the Natuna regional administration, at least 11 foreign vessels are apprehended over illegal fishing every year, with a potential state loss of around Rp 2 trillion (US$169 million).

RLECC Bicol createsTWG, steps up campaign vs. illegal fishing
Philippines – 20 February 2014 – Philippine Information Agency
The Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (RLECC) in Bicol has intensified campaign to put a stop on illegal fishing activities by employing coordinated efforts among government agencies.

Europe –MENA

Norway Starts Experimental Catch of Bluefin
Norway – 20 February 2014 –
The Fisheries Minister of Norway has made the decision to start a Bluefin tuna fishing trial. This follows ICCAT awarding the country with a catch quota 30.97.

Albacora Introduces FAD With “Practically” Zero Bycatch Mortality
Spain – 20 February 2014 –
The largest vertically integrated tuna company in Europe, Albacora Group, which operates about 25% of Europe, Albacora Group, which operates about 25% of Europe’s total purse seiner catching capacity, has introduced an innovative Fish Aggregated Device (FAD) to its fishing operations.

41 Tuna Vessels On the EU IUU List
E.U. – 19 February 2014 –
The European Union has updated its “list of vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing” and 41 tuna vessels have made the cut.

Arab states show the way for shark conservation
Middle East – 21 February 2014 – Gulf News
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding is a major step forward and complements the work done under the Convention on Migratory Species

Coastal fishing industry upbeat about Kenya’s plans to form marine guard
Kenya – 19 February 2014 – In 2 East Africa
Fisheries stakeholders are upbeat over plans by the Government to set up the Kenya Oceans and Fisheries Council as well as a Fisheries Enforcement Unit (equivalent of a Coast Guard).

Somaliland coastguard seize foreign vessel said involved in illegal fishing
Somaliland – 20 February 2014 – BBC Monitoring Africa via Somali-language Universal Tv (no link – via email)
Somaliland Coast guards have said they seized a foreign vessel involved in illegal fishing off the region's coast. The vessel which had up to 25 crew members whose nationalities have not yet been revealed was seized off the Seylac coast. Abdikadir Adan Yusuf, a Somaliland official said they have seized the ship along with the 25 crew members who are now in custody. It is not yet known what measures Somaliland authorities will take against the ship believed to be owned in Egypt along with the crew members.
See also: Somaliland: Government to Avail Fire Power to the Navy

Namibia: 161 Illegal Foreign Fishermen Nabbed
Namibia – 20 February 2014 – New Era via All Africa
Following a New Era exposé on the widespread plunder of fishery resources involving illegal immigrants, law enforcement authorities swung into action and rounded up scores of illegal fishermen this week.

Somalia: Puntland Fisheries Minister calls an end to Illegal foreign Fishing
Somalia – 17 February 2014 – Horseed Media
Puntland Minister for Fisheries and marine resources Mr Abdinur Elmi Bindhe has issued a strong warning against companies and individuals involved in illegal fishing and exploitation of resources around the state’s coastline. Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa with 3,330 KM. Since the central government was overthrown in 1991, foreign fishing trawlers began illegal fishing and ships from big companies started dumping waste off the coast of the lawless country.

Limited Growth Possible for African Tuna Fisheries
Africa – 21 February 2014 –
Expansion possibilities for the EU tuna fleet in African tuna fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean are limited, according to a recent report from the European Commission. Restricted availability of tuna in the region means that Fisheries Partnerships Agreements (FPA) remain the most efficient access route for EU vessel owners and are vital for the continuation of the “proper operability” of the EU fleet in West Africa.

A Method for Predicting Fishing Activity Based on Geospatial Motion Behaviors - Summarized from an Analyze Technical Report

EJF awarded IMCS Network ‘Stop IUU Fishing Award’
21 February 2014 –

DiCaprio $3 Million Shark Protection Grant
20 February 2014 - Guardian Liberty Voice
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has given a $3 million grant to conservation organization Oceana for the protection of sharks and other marine life. The money donated by Oscar-nominated DiCaprio’s foundation will be used over a three year period, Oceana said.
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