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Indonesia: Seine fishing ban eased

Published in National News
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:48

The full enforcement of a ban on fishing using a controversial type of dragnet known as a seine has eased, following protests by fishermen. On 17 January, the Fisheries Minister announced that the transition period would be extended indefinitely in the Pantura region in Java, in effect, putting the ban on hold. The announcement followed a meeting with Presiden Joko Widodo who struck an agreement with the Pantura protestors in extending the transition period and helping more fishermen gain access to the financial aid programme.

Under a 2015 regulation from the country’s Fisheries Ministry, the use of a particular type of seine known locally as cantrang was deemed destructive, and fishermen nationwide were given until the start of 2018 to switch to alternative methods of fishing with reduced bycatch and less risk of damaging seabed ecosystems. The government also promised financial aid to helpthe fishermen swap their equipment but despite the promides subsidy and the transition period of nearly three years, seine fishing remains widespread. Less than a third of the owners of the more than 7 200 seine-fishing vessels smaller than 10 gross tonnage (GT) – most of which operate off the northern coast of Java – received financial aid to transition to new equipment, according to the Fisheries Ministry data from last September. This year alone, meanwhile, there are already 3 900 applications for financial aid from owners of fishing boats this size.

Source: INFOFISH International 3/2018

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No 1159. Authored by Enrique Alonso-Población and Susana V. Siar, and published by FAO (2018).

The increased recognition of the multiplicity of roles played by women in, and their crucial contributions to, the fisheries sector exists in stark contrast with the low presence of women in fisherfolk organisations around the globe, and the lack of access to decision-making positions in many formal fisheries-related organisations.

This paper summarises analyses of a global literature review on women in fisherfolk organisations. The aim of the study was to identify positive examples and lessons learned by pointing to the drivers – as well as the enablers and entities identified in the literature – that have a key role in fostering increased women’s participation and leadership in collective action in fisheries. State institutions, social movements and civil society organisations, development and conservation projects, religious movements, academia, endogenous mobilisation, charismatic individuals and coincidences have been identified as the key enablers of women’s participation in collective action.

Dwindling resources and the need to secure management roles, modernisation, the allocation of fishing rights, economic changes, family welfare and women’s rights, are the main drivers identified by the authors as catalysers of women’s engagement in collective action. Finally, the paper identifies some of the barriers faced by women to gain equal access to organisations and decision-making. Although more research on the topic is required, there seems to be consensus on the positive effects for women arising from their engagement in modes of collective action.

Radio beacons for safety at sea

Published in Equipment & Supplies
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:34

From January 2019, commercial fisheries in New Zealand must carry safety beacons onboard. The regulations require the installation of float-free EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) on fishing boats between 7.4m and 24m operating outside enclosed waters.

The new requirement is one of five changes to the maritime rules made recently by the Minister of Transport, triggered by the death of 24 people over the last 11 years inshore fishing boats sank and the crews were unable to activate their manual EPIRBs. Currently, fishing boats operating more than 200nm from New Zealand’s coast must have EPIRBs that automatically ‘float-free’ of a sinking vessel and activate while fishing boats operating within 200nm must have either float-free or manually-activated EPIRBs.

ACR Electonics and Ocean Signal are working with commercial fishing operators to help them comply with the new safety beacon regulations. Automatically deployed and activated when submerged in water, the ACR Electronics GlobalFIX V4 and GlobalFIX pro and Ocean Signal SafeSea 100G float-free EPIRBs feature Category 1 hudrostatic release brackets or housing options.

ACR Electronics; Ocean Signal

New Zealand approves innovative trawl technology

Published in Research
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:31

Fisheries New Zealand approved the use of an innovative trawl technology for commercial operations in some deepwater fisheries, called the Precision Seafood Harvesting Modular Harvest System (MHS). The MHS is the first innovative trawl technology to be approved under amendments to the commercial fishing regulations introduced last year, director of fisheries management at Fisheries New Zealand, said in a statement.

The regulations were amended to support innovations in trawl gear that provide opportunities to achieve better quality of catch, add value across the sector, and ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources, he said.The performance of the MHS was tested in trials over the last six years in deep water and middle-depth fisheries, he said.

Fisheries New Zealand will monitor the use of the MHS to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions, and to ensure environmental impacts from the MHS are no more than from traditional commercial trawling, he added.

Source: Xinhua, 11 June 2018


Published in Workshop/Training
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:29

The 15th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference and Exhibition kicked off on 28th May in Bangkok at the Shangri-La hotel. Close to 600 participants, including a stellar list of speakers, seemed like almost all of the industry from all corners of the globe was represented, from harvesting through processing and marketing of tuna, as well as manufacturers and suppliers of equipment.

Acting Director of INFOFISH welcomed dignitaries and participants to the event and presented an overview of the theme (“Braving Challenges: Towards a Traceable and Sustainable Tuna Industry”) and the topics in the sessions ahead. Thanking participants for their presence, and the co-organising partners and sponsors for their support in making this important Conference a reality, she said that INFOFISH has the honour to provide a platform for the industry and that “this Tuna Trade Conference and Exhibition belongs to you, the industry”.

Dr Transform Aqorau, the Conference Chair, presented a Special Address; he noted that he was honoured to be the first Pacific Islander to chair a Conference of this scale and level of prestige. He said that it was only appropriate that the Conference is themed “Braving the Challenges”, one of which is stock management and traceability, developments in communications not with standing.

He stressed that the industry has a big role to play in sustainability and social responsibility of the industry, certification, eco-labelling, IUU fishing and we need to work with each other to find common solutions to common challenges.

The Opening Address was delivered by Dr Juadee Pongmaneerat, the Chief of Inspector General, Ministry of Agricuture and Cooperatives Thailand, acknowledging that although the Thai tuna industry is among the world’s top tuna exporters, there are challenges that the government is committed to addressing such as the need to ensure that tuna and tuna products are of high quality and meet international standards; the need to comply with IUU regulations; and enhancing traceability.She said that in terms of IUU fishing, the government has issued and implemented the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries BE 2558 and BE 2017 to enhance sustainable fisheries management. Thailand has also formally acceded to the FAO’s Port State Measures Agreement and the Convention of the Law of the Sea (1982). She hoped that through the conference, a common understanding can be created towards sustainable development of the global tuna industry.

Also present in the Opening Ceremony were H E Ana Katuska Drouet Salcedo, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Ecuador, H E Patrick Basa, Minister of Fisheries, Papua New Guinea and H E Semi Koroilevesau, Minister of Fisheries, Fiji.

At the first-ever St Helena Conference 2018: Diverse Island Environments, the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) made the point that ocean conservation and profitable fisheries can work handin-hand.

While launching the Foundation’s new film,’St Helena Tuna- The one-by-one philosophy’, Director of Policy & Outreach Adam Baske also spoke about the groundbreaking project launched by the IPNLF, the St Helena Government and the St Helena Government and the St Helena Fisheries Corporation, with support from the local fishermen, which prohibits all types of destructive fishing gear in a vast ocean area surrounding the island nation. The project aims to establish best-practice traceability, transparency and data recording systems whle also working to deliver better returns through quality improvements and market gateways.

Source: INFOFISH International 3/2018

Ecuador's Ministry of Aquaculture and Fisheries and the conservation organization WWF have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the sustainable management of fisheries and the competitiveness of the fishing sector. The agreement, signed in Manta, ratifies the government's commitment to ensure the responsible capture of fishery resources and includes WWF's support in the process of designing and implementing improvement projects as well as the conservation and management of the species.

The parties highlighted the importance of fishery resources for the Ecuadorian economy and society as well as the need to promote fisheries management and the competitiveness of the fishing sector, with an ecosystem approach to ensure that these resources continue to be used in a sustainable manner. The cooperation agreement, which will be valid for four years, also seeks to deepen the economic and environmental benefits of the fishing activity, which represented revenues in foreign currency of the country for US$ 1,559.3 million in 2017.

Source: FIS, 4 April 2018

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published the first list of foreign fisheries, detailing the risks that commercial fishing around the world pose to marine mammals. It offers us a better understanding of the impacts of marine mammal bycatch, an improvement of tools and scientific approaches to mitigating those impacts, and establishes a new level of international cooperation in achieving these objectives.

The register is a step toward meeting specific requirements in the Marine Mammal Protection Act on the sources of fish imported into the US. It includes nearly 4,000 fisheries across some 135 countries. These fisheries have until 2022 to demonstrate that the methods they use to catch fish, as well as other marine animals such as coral, crabs, lobsters and shellfish, either aren’t much of a danger to marine mammals, or they employ comparable methods and mitigation measures to similar operations in the United States.

Source: Mongabay, 2 April 2018

Blockchain technology could revolutionise traceability

Published in Fisheries
Thursday, 16 August 2018 01:22

Blockchain is a new way of storing data that allows a network of computers to store tamper-proof information which can be viewed by anyone at anytime. Several organisations such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Earth Twine have launched trials to determine how the technology can be used in the seafood industry to track products from harvest to plate, including whether the seafood had been caught and processed illegally or using slave labour.

According to a release by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF-New Zealand, WWF-Australia, and WWF-Fiji have teamed up with global tech innovator ConsenSys, information and communications technology (ICT) implementer TraSeable and tuna fishing and processing company Sea Quest Fiji Ltd., to deliver the project in Fiji.

The WWF Blockchain Supply Chain Traceability Project will use a combination of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, quick response (QR) code tags and scanning devices to collect information at various points along the supply chain.

The WWF Blockchain Supply Chain Traceability Project follows on the heels of a pilot project carried out by a British company, Provenence, in collaboration with the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF). This project successfully tracked a handline caught yellowfin tuna from Maluku, Indonesia, all the way to the UK using blockchain, demonstrating how the technology has potential to support traceability in small-scale fisheries.

Source: INFOFISH International 3/2018


A growing number of countries are signing up to a global agreement that helps stop illegal fishing, as the international community marks the first International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. IUU fishing is estimated to affect one in every five fish caught, with an annual cost of up to US$23 billion.

The date was chosen to highlight the scourge of IUU fishing because it is the anniversary of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) which came into force in 2016. The PSMA is the first binding international agreement that specifically targets illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. So far 54 States and the European Union have become Parties to the Agreement and many have already started implementing the provisions.

The PSMA is complemented by a suite of other instruments such as the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance adopted in 2014 and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on Catch Documentation Schemes adopted in 2017 to provide better and more harmonized traceability of fish along the value chain.

Source: Devdiscourse, 8 June 2018

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INFOFISH is the leading source of marketing support for fish producers and exporters in the Asia-Pacific - a region which includes some of the largest fishing nations in the world.

Its activities include bringing buyers and sellers together, publication of current and long-term marketing information and operation of technical advisory and specialized services.

In addition to organizing exhibitions, conferences, workshops, seminars and training programs, INFOFISH undertakes consultancies on all aspects of fisheries - pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest.