Fishupdate Friday briefing from around the world Published: 15 June, 2012
AUSTRALIA PLANS TO CREATE WORLD’S LARGEST MARINE ZONES
AUSTRALIA is legislating to create the world’s largest network of marine parks in a move that will affect the fishing industry in that region of the world. The Australian Government has said its new reserve areas will cover more than 1.7 million sq km of ocean, including the Coral Sea. Fairly serious restrictions will be placed on fishing and oil and gas exploration, but already both industries are warning of serious consequences on their activities. Fishermen say the move will increase the price of seafood in a country that eats huge amounts of fish. The country’s Environment Minister Tony Burke says it is time to act because the seas are under threat. Mr Burke will unveil more details next week when he attends the earth summit in Brazil with Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
HIGH KIWI DOLLAR “THREAT TO FISH EXPORTS”
A NEW Zealand Government report has warned that the high kiwi dollar poses a threat to the country’s seafood industry as well as to its agriculture and forestry sectors. New Zealands primary industries such as fishing have benefitted from increased trade ties with emerging Asia, most notably China, where investment and private consumption remained strong because of Chinas solid corporate profits and rising household income, the government says. The report adds: “Longer term, New Zealand’s high and growing level of international indebtedness is expected to be constrained by limits to lenders’ appetite for risk, eventually reducing the strength of the New Zealand dollar.”
BIG FALL IN VIETNAM FISH EXPORT COMPANIES
THE number of Vietnamese companies involved in fish exports has dropped by almost half, Viet Nam News, the country’s English language daily reports.
There were only 473 companies involved in seafood exports during the first five months of this year, down significantly from 800 companies in the same period last year, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers. However, the falling number of exporters has not influenced the country’s total export value, as those who departed had low turnovers.
The country’s five-month seafood exports still experienced a 9.8 per cent year-on-year increase, reaching US$2.3 billion, the export and producers association general secretary Truong Dinh Hoe has said, attributing this encouraging performance to increasing export turnover of large exporters.
Despite positive increase in terms of value, seafood exporters were now facing with numerous difficulties for their business, including shortage of raw materials for processing and insufficient capital for production and increasing input cost. Slumping demand for Vietnamese seafood in the EU, the country’s largest seafood importer due to eurozone debt crisis were also problematic.
FISH SLAVES FREED
SLAVERY is still alive and well on fishing boats in some parts of the world. A total of 11 Burmese migrants had to be rescued when the fishing boats they were forced to work on were raided by a team from the Thai Department of Special Investigation, the Irrawaddy News Magazine reports. The 11 reportedly told their rescuers that they had been held as slaves on the fishing boats for seven months. The victims had crossed over the Thai-Burmese border near Mae Sot with the assistance of brokers who sold them for around $265 each to ethnic Mon employment agents in Thailand who in turn arranged for them to ‘work’ on the fishing boats. They will now be sent back to Burma.