Friday, March 21, 2014

International Ocean Roundup VIII

Americas:

Vessel owner fined for illegally manning U.S. flagged vessels with foreign officers
Guam - 18 March 2014 – USCG News
Coast Guard Sector Guam has levied fines against the South Pacific Tuna Corporation for eight separate violations of Title 46 United States Code, Section 8304 for using unlicensed foreign personnel to illegally fill the roles of chief mate and chief engineer on U.S. flagged vessels.

Illegal fishing continues unabated in Costa Rica’s treasured Isla del Coco National Park
Costa Rica – 15 March 2014 – The Tico Times
A recent report filed by park guards at Isla del Coco National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 365 miles off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, accuses 33 fishing vessels with Costa Rican licenses of frequently poaching within the 12 nautical miles of Pacific waters off the island, an area protected by law.

Canada’s stake in the high seas
Canada – 17 March 2014 – The Globe and Mail
Hurtling toward the moon in December, 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 took one of the most iconic snapshots of all time, of a beautifully illuminated, overwhelmingly blue, planet Earth. The colours reflected not earth but water, not land but oceans. On the spot, crew members nicknamed this image The Blue Marble.

Mexican fisherman accused of biggest poaching case in history at Costa Rica's Isla del Coco still a fugitive
Mexico – 19 March 2014 – The Tico Times
A Mexican fishing boat captain busted in 2008 with 12 tons of tuna well within the protected boundary waters of Costa Rica’s Isla del Coco National Park fled the country before his trial and has never faced justice

Florida Dive Boat Operators Face Charges Of Illegally Feeding Sharks In State Waters; 'A Public Safety Issue'
U.S. – 20 March 2014 – Underwatertimes.com
Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have filed charges against four men linked to the illegal feeding of sharks and fish within state waters.

Could a shark-finning trial restore loophole in Costa Rica law?
Costa Rica – 21 March 2014 – The Tico Times
A Puntarenas court will reconvene Friday for a shark finning trial that could re-establish a gruesome loophole in the law that bans finning in Costa Rican waters.

Asia-Pacific:

Royal Australian Navy Apprehends Foreign Fishing Vessels
Australia – 18 March 2014 – NavalToday.com
The Royal Australian Navy, working closely the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) under the coordination of Border Protection Command (BPC), has apprehended four foreign fishing vessels with a total of 58 crew approximately 180 nautical miles North West of Darwin.

PNA discusses need to keep control of tuna supply
Pacific – 14 March 2014 – PNAtuna.com
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) closed its annual officials meeting today after discussing ways to control tuna supply and therefore increase economic returns to Pacific countries.

Hong Kong can help curb illegal fishing on the high seas
Hong Kong – 20 March 2014 – South China Morning Post
Wilson Lau calls on Hong Kong to join an international effort to curb illegal fishing on the high seas, to help protect fast-declining fish stocks.

This island nation just banned all commercial fishing
Palau – 20 March 2014 – Grist
The Micronesian country of Palau, which encompasses 250 islands in an area the size of France, just became a marine sanctuary. At a recent U.N. oceans conference, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. declared commercial fishing illegal in an attempt to protect the vibrant sea life that makes Palau a magnet for Asian vacationers. “I always say the economy is our environment and the environment is our economy,” he said.

Sea Slavery on Thai Fishing Boats Remains Widespread Issue [Video]
Thailand – 19 March 2014 – Liberty Voice
Thailand is the world’s third-largest seafood exporter, and it is America’s second-largest seafood supplier. In the U.S., there is a good chance that one’s shrimp, tuna, sardines, or squid came from Thailand. There is also a good chance that the Thai fishing boat that caught those items was involved in sea slavery.

Europe –MENA
Member states to ban illegal fishing from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea
E.U. – 20 March 2014 – European Voice
Fisheries ministers from the European Union's member states will adopt trade measures against Belize, Cambodia and Guinea next week. Fish caught in these countries will be banned from import into the European Union.

EU Commissioner: Address Overfishing Globally
Greece – 17 March 2014 – Environmental Protection Online
Maria Damanaki, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, praised the EU's progress on sustainable fishing and said fishing overcapacity must be addressed globally, in her March 13 speech at the Conference on Fishing Capacity in Thessaloniki, Greece.

EU adopts strategy on the Gulf of Guinea
E.U. – 18 March 2014 – African Brains
The Council today adopted an EU strategy on the Gulf of Guinea to support the efforts of the region and its coastal states to address the many challenges of maritime insecurity and organised crime.

EP committee approves three fishing protocols in the Indian Ocean
E.U. – 20 March 2014 – Fis.com
The Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament (EP) Tuesday approved three new fisheries protocol with Seychelles, Comoros and Madagascar, which will benefit the Community tuna fleet, mainly from Spain, Portugal and France.

Africa:

Kenya: KPA Denies Illegal Ship Docked in
Kenya – 21 March 2014 – All Africa
THE Kenya Ports Authority has dismissed claims that two ships wanted by Interpol for alleged illegal fishing and human trafficking called at the Mombasa port. This follows reports that Mv Samdera Pacific and Berkat Menjala arrived at the Kilindini harbour on February 4, and docked at the Mbaraki wharf for provisions.

Interpol orders the capture of two ships for illegal fishing and human trafficking in Somalia
Somalia – 17 March 2014 – Suna Times
The warrant of the arrest against the two ships was issued in January 21st this year, according to the Kenyan Daily Nation Newspaper. The two ships wanted by Interpol for alleged illegal fishing and human trafficking called at the Mombasa port in February, investigations by the Nation have revealed. The vessels are believed to have been behind illegal fishing in Kenya and Somali waters using fake documentation.

New fisheries monitoring system unveiled
Namibia – 17 March 2014 – New Era
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau has urged all fishing companies that have not yet installed the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) of the ministry, that is supposed to monitor activities of fishing vessels at sea, to do so urgently.

Invest In Africa? How It Looks To Senegal's Fishermen
Senegal – 15 March 2014 – World Crunch
On the beach here in Joal, a large fishing harbor south of Senegal’s capital of Dakar, a group of women watch as fishermen unload their catch from their motor boats. It wasn’t such a good day. But empty nets are not the only disappointment here. A Russian factory that will transform fresh fish into meal is scheduled to open soon along the shore, disrupting the locals’ salting and drying activities.

Offshore oil, gas industry needs to be safer
Africa – 18 March 2014 – Business Day Live
AFRICA’s western seaboard, from Mauritania to South Africa, contains among the most productive and fastest-growing offshore oil fields in the world. The region’s oil-and gas-producing countries drill more than 4.5-million barrels a day, and have about 48.77-billion barrels in reserve.

Japan gives one million dollar boost to Gulf of Guinea fund
Africa – 17 March 2014 – IMO.org
The Government of Japan has made a contribution of US$1.0 million to the IMO West and Central Africa Maritime Security Trust Fund, established by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to implement maritime security projects in the Gulf of Guinea, including the prevention and suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity.

European Union pledges €1.2 million to support maritime administrations in Western and Central Africa
Africa – 18 March 2014 – IMO.org
The European Union is funding a €1.2 million grant contract, signed between IMO and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to support training and capacity-building activities aimed at enhancing flag State implementation and port State control in Western and Central Africa, with a view to upgrading the region’s maritime administrations and preparing its States for the mandatory IMO audit scheme.

Chinese nationals held in Nigeria for illegal fishing
Nigeria – 18 March 2014 – Global Post
The Nigerian navy said on Tuesday that it had arrested 22 Chinese nationals for fishing in its territorial waters without permits and travel passports. Four foreign vessels and their crew were held in the operation, Commodore Godwin Ochai told reporters in Onne, outside the southern oil city of Port Harcourt.

Global:

Amid Hunt for Malaysian Plane, Ocean Swims With Missing Vessels
Global – 19 March 2014 – National Geographic
Ships lost at sea often elude current technology. As satellites and search teams scour the Indian Ocean for signs of the missing Malaysian airliner and its 239 passengers and crew, somewhere in the vast expanses of the North Atlantic an empty Russian cruise ship has been lost for more than a year.

Multinational agreement to promote more sustainable fishing
E.U. – 17 March 2014 – Europolitics
The European Union, the United States, Japan, the Philippines, Colombia and Indonesia agreed, on 14 March, to work to better control fleet overcapacity as a means of promoting sustainable management of fish stocks. In a joint declaration adopted in Thessaloniki, Greece, the five signatories express their intention to cooperate to "identify the measures needed to regulate fishing volumes in order to guarantee the sustainability of fish resources". The declaration was released upon conclusion of a two-day international conference sponsored by the Greek EU Council Presidency with the aim of extending globally the efforts made in recent years by the Union to reduce its fishing overcapacity.

New UN-led anti-trafficking campaign to help raise tourists’ awareness
Global – 5 March 2014 – United Nations
Encouraging travellers to help in the global fight against trafficking in illicit goods and services, three United Nations agencies have joined forces launching today a new campaign aiming to raise awareness among travellers and the tourism industry about making the right ethical choices and reducing demand for illegal products.

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