Friday, March 28, 2014

International Ocean Roundup IX


Far-flung fleet of tuna boats less than safe
U.S. – 21 March 2014 – Star Advertiser
The U.S. Coast Guard is raising new safety concerns for crews that harvest tuna from some of the most remote waters in the Pacific following a spate of accidents in the past eight years that have left 19 crew members dead aboard commercial tuna vessels flying U.S. flags.

Lack of English Contributed to Sinking of Dongwon Seiner
U.S. – 27 March 2014 – (subscription based)
A lack of understanding the English language among engineering officers contributed to the sinking of the Dongwon-owned US flagged purse seiner, “Majestic Blue.”
See also: US Coast Guard confirms deaths on Majestic Blue, allegedly a Dongwon vessel and Coast Guard Releases Its Investigation of "Majestic Blue" Sinking

PoS workshop focuses on Port State Measures
Trinidad – 26 March 2014 – Guardian Media
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), an FAO regional fisheries body, is hosting a regional workshop to build capacity for implementation of the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port States Measures among the Caribbean Small-Island Developing States (SIDS). The workshop is being held in Port-of-Spain this week and is being attended by more than 80 officials from 25 countries.

Illegal fishing harms more than Texas
U.S. – 26 March 2014 – The Daily News – Galveston Country
The Texas Gulf Coast supplies seafood for the American public and supports the hospitality industry, tourism-related businesses and our vibrant recreational fishing trade.

New Report Reveals U.S. Fisheries Killing Thousands of Protected and Endangered Species
U.S. – 23 March 2014 – Daily Beast
A new report by Oceana exposes nine U.S. fisheries that throw away half of what they catch, and kill dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and more in the process.

Deepwater Horizon oil left tuna, other species with heart defects likely to prove fatal
U.S. – 24 March 2014 – Washington Post
The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill struck at the very heart of fish, a new study says. Exposed to millions of gallons of crude, young tuna and amberjack, some of the speediest predators in the ocean, developed heart defects that are likely to limit their ability to catch food.

Costa Rican Coast Guard arrests boat captain for alleged shark finning
Costa Rica – 14 Mach 2014 – Tico Times
On Sunday, coast guard officers detained a fishing boat in Quepos, Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast, and found 21 shark fins on board weighing four kilograms, which likely came from four sharks, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.

California shark fin ban upheld by federal judge
U.S. – 25 March 2014 – SF Gate
A federal judge on Tuesday upheld California's ban on possession or sale of shark fins, rejecting claims that the law discriminates against the Chinese community - where shark fin soup is a traditional delicacy - or interferes with federal management of ocean fishing.

Defense witnesses in shark finning trial choose not to testify
Costa Rica – 25 March 2014 –
Defense witnesses of Kathy Tseng, a business woman accused of shark finning by the Puntarenas’ Court, chose not to testify during a hearing this past March 21. Tseng is accused of landing shark fins attached to backbones, an act identified by experts of the Judicial Investigation Bureau (OIJ in spanish) and INTERPOL as finning.

U.S. – 14 March 2014 – Conservation Magazine
The U.S. has laid claim to 2.5 billion acres of coastal seas, but that vast area produces very little seafood for Americans. Therein lies a dilemma: should the U.S. cultivate giant offshore fish farms in its piece of the sea or keep taking most of the fish we eat from foreign waters?


Rai Balang maritime sweep nets illegal fishers in North Pacific
North Pacific – 24 March 2014 – FFA
The annual Rai Balang maritime surveillance sweep focussed in the North Pacific had some record results as it wound down its ten-day operation for 2014 late Friday. The administrative seizure and torching of fishing tenders and gear, citations for six fishing vessels, and boardings by inspectors of 69 fishing vessels across the Micronesian region has sent a clear message to vessels in Pacific waters fishing in breach of their license agreements, or without a licence: you will be caught.

S. Korea to begin real-time vessel tracking against illegal fishing
South Korea – 27 March 2014 – Yonhap News Agency
South Korea is set to begin monitoring all its fishing boats operating in international or foreign waters to prevent illegal fishing or any other unwarranted activities, the government said Thursday.

Vanuatu Fisheries Minister on mission to clear Eu fisheries yellow card
Vanuatu – 24 March 2014 – Islands Business
Vanuatu's Fisheries Minister David Tosul and his delegation is in Brussels, Belgium on the final leg of negotiations with the European Union (EU) to uplift the yellow card served on Vanuatu in November 2012 over Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

PFF slams issuing licences to deep-sea trawlers
Pakistan – 24 March 2014 – Daily Times
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) on Sunday criticised the governments Marine Fisheries Department, which has invited deep sea trawler companies of the country to issue licenses of fishing.

Gadani – A paradise lost to pollution
Pakistan – 24 March 2014 – The International News
The Gadani beach — one of the few coastal areas of Pakistan with sparking blue water and a unique range of marine habitat — is in danger of losing its lustre. Toxic wastes from the ship-breaking industry, coupled with illegal nets and the government’s plan to set up a coal-based energy corridor in the area, threatens this breezy coastal edge of the Arabian Sea.

Otter fishing tradition faces extinction
Bangladesh – 22 March 2014 –
Swimming in circles alongside a fishing boat, the excited cries of two short-haired otters ring out across a river in southern Bangladesh that feeds into the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.

The fishermen lower a net into the water close to the banks of the river, and one by one, tails up, the animals dive under the water with a splash. It is a rare technique that relies on co-ordination between man and trained otters, a centuries-old fishing partnership that has already long died out in other parts of Asia.

Myanmar's marine 'Lost World' braces for tourism
Myanmar – 21 March 2014 –
The Mergui archipelago has been called the “Lost World,” but outsiders have found it — first fishermen, poachers and loggers, and now developers and high-end tourists. The people losing this world are the Moken, who have lived off the land and the sea for centuries.

Europe –MENA

Panama, Fiji, Vanuatu, two others given until spring 2014 to up IUU fight
E.U. – 24 March 2014 –
As the European Union’s executive arm confirmed trade sanctions against Belize, Guinea Conakry and Cambodia, the European commission said another five countries have until the spring 2014 to demonstrate their efforts against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, or also face sanctions.

Thai Union aims to re-flag MW Brands vessels in light of EU IUU sanctions
E.U. – 26 March 2014 – Undercurrent News
Thai Union Frozen Products said MW Brands will seek to reflag its Belize-flagged vessels to another country as a result of the EU sanctions on vessels flagged to Belize, Guinea and Cambodia, the company told Undercurrent News.

Britain urged to sign up to shipwreck treaty to protect underwater heritage
U.K. – 22 March 2014 – The Guardian
Britain’s rich maritime legacy is under threat from commercial treasure hunters who are accused by experts of plundering and destroying the nation’s underwater heritage.

Dolphins illegally in the EU? Dolphinarium owners refusing DNA analyses
E.U. – 23 March 2014 –
The animal protection organization ProWal and the Whale-and Dolphinprotection-Forum (WDSF) are looking for evidence in the dolphinarium in Constanta, town in the EU country Rumania, of their illegal import of dolphins from Taiji/Japan.

EU Restricts Seafood Trade from Illegal Fishing Nations
E.U. – 24 March 2014 – The Fish Site
Four leading environmental groups – Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF have welcomed a decision by the EU Fisheries Council to place trade restrictions on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.


Somalia: Fishermen in Puntland quit Job due to ‘threats’ from Foreign Vessels
Somalia – 23 March 2014 – Horseed Media
Fishermen in Puntland region, Somalia have announced that they have stopped their work after facing ‘’dangerous threats’’ from illegal foreign fishing vessels, who are illegally plundering the semi-autonomous region’s resources.

Two fishing vessels impounded
Ghana – 24 March 2014 – Ghana Web
Personnel of the Marine Police Unit have impounded two fishing vessels on suspicion that they have been used for illegal fishing at Nungua and Chorkor in Accra.

Cote d'Ivoire: Parties to the Abidjan Convention Agree to Boost Cooperation On Marine Challenges
Africa – 26 March 2014 – All Africa
Parties to the Abidjan Convention - which governs issues ranging from marine pollution to overfishing across much of the African continent - have agreed to accelerate the Convention's implementation through increased financial and technical support


Fishing More, Catching Less
Global – 26 March 2014 – The New York Times
Op-Ed by Daniel Pauly of The University of British Columbia.

Nations around the world jostle to carve up Antarctic resources
Antarctica – 27 March 2014 – Nikkei Asian Review
As summer sea ice levels continue to drop year by year, interest in developing undersea natural resources and opening new shipping routes through the Arctic region has been growing. While in Antarctica, at the other side of the world, some forward-looking nations have already started expanding their presence, hoping to get access to natural resources on the frozen continent.

Planet Labs Set To Launch Largest Satellite Fleet In History
Global – 19 March 2014 – Space Daily
Planet Labs has announced that it has confirmed launches for more than 100 satellites over the next 12 months. The satellites will launch on rockets from the USA and Russia.

Animal Migration Routes Maintained by Knowledge of Informed Elders
Global – 20 March 2014 – Nature World News
A new model of animal migration patterns suggests that an entire migratory route can be changed if just a few so-called "informed individuals" are removed from the larger group.

Global – 19 March 2014 – Al Jazeera
Climate change may be stunting fish growth, a new study has said. Fish sizes in the North Sea have shrunk dramatically, and scientists believe warmer ocean temperatures and less oxygenated water could be the causes.

Robot Eyes Protecting From Above: Drones and Ocean Conservation
Global – 19 March 2014 – National Geographic
A robust and healthy ocean is the lifeblood for our planet, sustaining life through interconnected ecosystems worldwide. Unfortunately, as a result of global industrial overfishing pressure, many of these ecosystems have shown signs of rapid deterioration.

Anti-whaling pressure said to continue
Antarctica – 23 March 2014 – 3 News New Zealand
The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd is vowing to keep the pressure on Japan's whaling fleet, as the Antarctic summer draws to a close.

Close the High Seas to Fishing?
25 March 2014 – PLOS Biology


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