Global net tightens around illegal fishing –

Global net tightens around illegal fishing Published:  29 September, 2009

THE international net is starting to tighten around countries and organisations that continue with illegal fishing activities.

Recently a group of more than 90 countries have agreed on a treaty that will refuse to accept ships involved in illegal fishing from entering signatory ports and thus help prevent the fish going to market,

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) hailed the agreement to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing as ‘the first ever global treaty focused specifically on the problem’.

The problem, thanks in part to support from seafood companies like Young’s who have refused to buy IUU fish, has been greatly reduced in northern European waters, particularly in the Baltic and Barents Sea region where it was a problem. But it still goes on in other parts of the world.

The FAO assistant-director general for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ichiro Nomura said: ‘By frustrating responsible management, IUU fishing damages the productivity of fisheries, or leads to their collapse. That’s a serious problem for the people who depend on them for food and income.’

Mr Nomura noted that this ‘treaty represents a real, palpable advance in the ongoing effort to stamp it out’.

Foreign fishing boats will be required to request permission to dock from specially designated ports ahead of time, transmitting information on their activities and the fish they have on board. The treaty also mandates regular inspections and outlines a set of standards that will be used during inspections, including reviews of ship papers.