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Illegal Fishing News Round Up – 04/26/2013

April 26, 2013

I’ve done news round ups before. They were helpful until, well, they were oppressive. I’ll try to regularly post interesting news rounds ups related to illegal fishing along with my comments. Consider this as an experiment. 

Multilateral News

1. Governments meeting at the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice this week in Vienna agreed to a proposal from Norway, to address crimes at sea that impact upon the environment, including fisheries crimes. Source: WWF Global.

It’s interesting to see that Norway is pushing this. That suggests Norway has some funds to donate to the cause. There were two interesting documents on how countries prosecute environmental crimes that I’ll check out later. Here and here.


2. The police organization Interpol warned that the global economic damage caused by illegal fishing — related to money laundering, fraud and even human and drug trafficking — exceeds USD 20,000 million (EUR 15,300 million). Source: FIS.

Appears related to a side meeting held in Vienna for the CCPCJ meeting mentioned in #1. Standard stuff.


Species-Specific News

1. Chilean sea bass, once a forbidden fruit of the sea after illegal fishing threatened the species, can safely be eaten again, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. But that new recommendation is causing a storm of controversy among some environmentalists. Source: Mercury News.

Seafood Watch is a pretty credible group. I’d imagine they’ve done their homework. They suggest that some in the conservation field are just resistant to change. I’d agree with that.


Country-Specific News

1. Sierra Leone is one of several West African coastal nations benefitting from a marine upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water, making it one of the most productive fishing zones in the world.  Fishing contributes 10% of the country’s GDP[2] and fish themselves represent nearly two-thirds of the total animal protein consumed in the country[3].  However, this incredible aquatic abundance, combined with a lack of effective policing and regulation of West African waters, has left the region vulnerable to the highest level of pirate fishing in the world.  International trawlers from as far as South Korea rake up hundreds of tonnes of fish a day for export to markets in Europe and the Far East.  Losses to Sierra Leone are estimated to be around US$29m every year[4], without taking into account the threat posed to livelihoods, fish stocks and food security, in a country in which 46% of people are undernourished[5]. Source: Emma’s Adventures in Sierra Leone.

Good overview of the problem of illegal fishing in Sierra Leone’s waters.


Vessel-Specific News

1. A ship owned by the company that makes Starkist Tuna has been denied entry to several African countries due to allegations of illegal fishing, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.  Source: Yahoo.

A great win by the Fish-i initiative that is supported by Pew and Stop Illegal Fishing. It also seems that there’s support from Norway.  Another quote from the article:

The Premier, owned by the South Korean seafood giant Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd., was first reported to be fishing illegally in November 2011, in Liberian waters. It was later caught with forged documents, Briley said. Since then FISH-i: Africa has been monitoring its movements, and noticed that it has been operating in areas where it doesn’t have licenses to fish, according to Pew. Trygg Mat Analytical Unit, a Norwegian foundation that promotes sustainable fisheries, has also been involved in tracking the ship.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael Zwirn permalink
    April 26, 2013 1:52 pm

    Wonder about this story.

    Not sure exactly where they were… or what they were fishing for.

    [Marine Conservation Institute]


    Michael Zwirn, Director of Development
    122 C Street NW, Suite 240
    Washington DC 20001 USA
    +1 202 546 5346

    Marine Conservation Institute
    Saving wild ocean places, for us and future generations

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