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Pacific bluefins in depleted state?

Published in Fisheries
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 02:50

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the Pacific bluefin tuna population is at just 3.3% of its unfished level, a conclusion that the NGO says confirms the species’ severely depleted status.

Basing its statement on a recently concluded study by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean, Pew says that there is continued need for more effective management of the fishery despite countries finally agreeing last year to a rebuilding plan for the species.

The study found that most of the recent catch has been composed of juvenile fish and that despite the heavily depleted status of the stock, the overal catch rose between 2015 and 2016 as four of the five main fishing nations exceeded their quotas. It points out that the estimated number of Pacific bluefin spawned in 2016 was more than double that in 2015 but only slightly above the average over the past 50 years.

Pew calls upon the IATTC and WCPFC to take a science-based approach to ensure that the population is indeed on the road to recovery and must agree on a Pacific-wide harvest strategy that includes precautionary objectives and pre-agreed rules for managing the fishery.

Source: INFOFISH International 4/2018

APEC economies committed to the ocean- IUU Fishing

Published in Fisheries
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 02:47

In June, experts and decision makers from around the world gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to focus on the commitment made by nations in 2015 to protect the health of the ocean.

Voluntary agreements have been pledged across the spectrum, from industries to NGOs, in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 “Life Below Water”.
The Global Oceans Program (GOP) of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) representative, said Illegal 

Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is diverting the commitment to reach the SDG 14 by 2020. In her presentation on IUU to the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) said to reach the SDG 14, a combined effort is required by all groups and agencies involved in the monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) of its oceans.

She further said that TNC is working in unison with respective authorities and international bodies at the national, regional and global to help combat IUU fishing.

In the Pacific Islands, IUU fishing has cost US$660 million annually in loss of revenue from ocean resources.

Source: APEC, 7 August, 2018

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) released a publication predicting that climate change will affect the productivity of the world’s freshwater and marine fisheries. The report urges countries to meet their adaptation commitments to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to minimize the impacts of climate change on the world’s fisheries and the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.

The publication titled, Impacts of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture: Synthesis of current knowledge, adaptation and mitigation options, combines global, regional and national analyses and modeling from over 100 collaborating scientists’ projects. Because of a changing climate, the Synthesis projects, among other impacts: shifts in ocean circulation patterns; rising sea levels; altered rainfall and storm patterns; and changes in water temperature and pH levels. These changes are predicted to alter the distribution and productivity of marine species and increase the incidence of aquatic diseases and other impacts such as coral bleaching.

Speaking at the report’s launch FAO Director-General urged the international community to provide adequate support to help countries adapt to climate change. Observing the failure of the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) board to decide on replenishment of the fund in the previous week, he appealed to governments on the GCF board to resolve their disagreements over funding.

Source: ICSF Samudra News Alert, 12 July 2018

Women in Fisheries website launched

Published in Fisheries
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 02:40

New research exploring women’s roles in fishing families officially gets going, as the Women in Fisheries project launches its new website. The study is examining how women contribute to the survival of both fishing families and the fishing industry, and will shed light on women’s roles, identities and wellbeing.
Collecting data on both sides of the Atlantic - in Newfoundland, Canada and in the UK - Women in Fisheries is also hoping to understand how small-scale fishing families (those using boats under 10m in length) are adapting to a changing environmental and economic climate. The new website helps to provide background on the research and explores what we currently know about the role of women in this sector.

The site features a regularly updated news section where people can follow the project’s progress; read about latest research; and hear about other efforts to improve recognition of women in fisheries on local and international levels.

Source: AKTEA, 8 August 2018

Common oceans are marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) that are not governed by any single nation. Instead, all nations are jointly responsible for sustainably managing those areas. ABNJ, also known as common oceans, include the high seas and the seabed’s beyond the extended continental shelf of coastal states - areas which are difficult to monitor, challenging to manage and easy to over-exploit.

Unfortunately, common oceans face a variety of threats including illegal fishing, pollution and unsustainable fishing and shipping practices. These activities are damaging diverse and valuable ecosystems that provide important ecosystem services, essential food and vital livelihoods for people around the world. Millions of families in both developed and developing countries depend on income generated from fishing and its associated activities. 150 000 MT of deep-sea species of fish are caught every year, and up to 50 different deep-sea species are caught in common oceans alone.

Building on the need to achieve sustainable management of fisheries and biodiversity conservation in common oceans, FAO developed the Common Oceans ABNJ Programme with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Programme, comprised of four individual projects, is an innovative, unique and comprehensive initiative working in close collaboration with two other GEF agencies, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. Focusing on tuna and deep-sea fisheries, the four projects bring together some 65 partners including governments, regional management bodies, civil society, the private sector, academia and industry to work towards ensuring the sustainable use and conservation of ABNJ biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Source: FAO, 2 July 2018

PNG is one of the countries in the Pacific that has a robust national plan of action on illegal, unreported and under-reporting of fishing activities, says Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources. The Government has made meaningful investments in fisheries management tools such as the fisheries information management system, vessel monitoring systems, observer programme, catch documentation scheme and audit and certification. He said the integrated fishery information and management system is one of the most elaborate fishery-based data collection system which uses live web-based electronic gadgets to impute data from fishing vessels to the database in real time.

The Government is working within the Parties to the Nauru Agreement to develop policies that encourage cross-border investments, labour mobility and build on its comparative advantage.

Source: The National, 5 June 2018

Singapore: Firm to invest US$220M for fish farming

Published in National News
Thursday, 16 August 2018 02:02

Barramundi Asia, a Singaporean fish farming firm, will invest BND300 million to rear barramundi, or sea bass, in large cages in Brunei’s open seas. The company will build an offshore cage farm to grow kuhlbarra barramundi (selungsong) using technology adopted from salmon farming in Norway.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalised the intention of Barramundi Asia to invest and develop an area of 6,613 hectares at Nankivell Offshore Aquaculture Site, establish a hatchery and a fish nursery capable of supplying high-quality sea bass juveniles to offshore fish cages, as well as establish a processing plant. For the landbased operation, the company would be allocated an area of 21 hectares located at Sungai Mangsalut in Kampong Tanah Jambu.

The project is expected to produce 40,000 MT of barramundi valued at BND300million(US$220 million) per year which will be exported to Singapore, Australia and Europe.

Source: Borneo Bulletin, 14 May 2018

Fishermen in the country are encouraged to register with the Awareness, Safety, Maritime Community 2.0 (K3M 2.0) application developed by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) to help curb the encroachment of foreign fishermen into Malaysian waters.

Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority Chairman said registering with the mobile phone application would enable local fishermen to channel information on encroachment of Malaysian waters by foreign fishermen to RMN for immediate action. The application was launched last week at the Defence Services Asia exhibition 2018. The K3M 2.0 is an upgrade version of the K3M application launched in March last year, which aimed at providing a platform for the maritime community in the country to work closely with the RMN.

The K3M 2.0 application introduced new features such as web-based Sea Alert equipped with satellite facilities which enabled fishermen and large vessels to channel information to the RMN.

Source: Malaysia Digest, 23 April 2018

The University of Rhode Island says it will use a $25 million federal grant to help improve the Philippines' struggling fishing industry. The Coastal Resources Center at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography will implement the five-year project to increase fish stocks by improving fisheries management and building the resilience of fishing communities. It's expected to benefit up to 2 million people.

Source: Fox Business, 24 April, 2018

The Fisheries Department passed a requirement for fishing vessels with permission to catch fish and crustaceans to have an identification code painted on their sides before the end of May. Fisheries Department Director-General said that the requirement came into effect on 1st April when it was published in the Royal Gazette. The move is to solve issues related to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU). It will also help identify boats that could be involved with human trafficking and allow anyone on a coded boat to be able to report to others which vessel they are on. The codes, which must be visible on the side of the vessel, consist of four sets of letters and numbers.

For example, the letter ‘T’ of the code ‘T-M-245-B’ indicates that the boat should be operating in the Gulf of Thailand while the second letter ‘M’ means that the vessel weighs at least 30 but less than 60 gross tons. The number ‘245’ is the registration number and the letter ‘B’ is used to indicate that the particular boat is equipped with an seine net. All legal fishing vessels must now have such a code painted on the side.

Source: Coconuts Bangkok, 20 April, 2018

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