Headlines:Prestige devastation will push fish prices up; Project set to revamp sector; New conservation techniques for longliners; CITES approves Patagonian toothfish proposal; Sustainable shrimp fisheries seminar...
"Prestige" devastation will push fish prices up
The price of Spanish fish and shellfish is expected to rise as a result of the Prestige disaster. Vessels have ceased to operate along the Galician coast at the moment leaving thousands of families affected and many say barnacles and clams will suffer the most. The Xunta de Galicia is studying the possibility of reopening some "clean" zones and is considering a ban on purse seine operations. Although no one knows exactly how much the fishing industry stands to lose as a result of the disaster, the Association of Shellfish Gatherers has estimated losses of EUR 90 million, based on last year's sales. The spill has damaged the most important Galician barnacle banks and has seriously affected fish farms' stocks of mollusks, octopus and turbot and experts believe that the effects on fishing grounds will last a long time, writes El Correo Digital. So far the most damaged areas are Camelle, Malpica, Caión, Corme, Laxe, Sisargas and Camariñas.
Project set to revamp sector Six months after the presentation of the consultancy firm Infopesca International's "Fisheries Sector Development Project," the authorities are getting ready to welcome a World Bank delegation to start implementing the programme. The main aim of the project - to be coordinated by Uruguay's Budget and Planning Office and financed by the World Bank - is to provide a strategy and policy for the sustainable development and optimal exploitation of the country's fisheries sector and marine resources. Other goals include the formation and training of all levels of fisheries personnel, from officials to fishermen. According to Infopesca, the National Directorate of Fisheries Resources (Dinara) should not come under the umbrella of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries. Instead, Infpoesca recommends a National Institute of Marine Resources should be set up as a non-governmental public company, with personnel hired under contracts of employment subject to private law. The new institute would be formed by executive power delegates and representatives of fleet owners and processing companies, Infopesca suggests. The project also encompasses the implementation of Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) in Uruguay's main fisheries, but crewmember trade unions are opposed to this. In short, Infopesca says that in order to improve fisheries management and develop the sector, there should be training for sector personnel, appropriate inspection services, accredited official labs, satellite monitoring, protected marine areas and more focus on aquaculture. The project will last three years with an investment of USD 12.5 million.
New conservation techniques for longliners
Over 200 representatives from 28 countries are expected this week at a Honolulu conference on ways to prevent and mitigate harm to protected species that can become entangled when they feed on bait or hooked fish on commercial longline gear. The Second International Fishers Forum is focused mainly on methods to ease gear interactions that can kill endangered sea turtles and birds. "In the 20th Century, many sea turtle and seabird populations declined, due in part to habitat loss, marine pollution, direct harvest of nesting females and their eggs, and the incidental capture in various types of fishing gear including longline gear," states the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which is hosting the event. "The harvest of adult turtles and their eggs may have a far more devastating impact on populations than longline fisheries, however, the recent expansion of fishing effort across the Pacific highlights the need for innovative solutions to minimize fishery interactions." The council observes that: "A variety of strategies for reducing interactions have already been developed and proven effective in longline fisheries, such as the use of blue-dyed bait, bird-scaring lines, and the underwater setting chute. These tools need to be refined and adapted to local fisheries and geared toward the species with which they interact. Consequently, representatives from American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Costa Rica, England, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Guam, Jamaica, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pohnpei, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and Uruguay will be attending the forum to promote the development and use of effective mitigation measures in their countries." The conference is set to open with an address by Ambassador Satya Nandan of the United Nations, who has presided over talks to establish a new international management commission for the Western and central Pacific fisheries. Also on the program are Rosemary Gales of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and Colin Limpus of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Department, discussing the biology, distribution and population status of seabirds and sea turtles. Nigel Brothers of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and Christopher Boggs of the US National Marine Fisheries Service will discuss mitigation measures, data collection and research. John Cooper of the University of Cape Town and Dougles Hykle of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species will discuss international agreements and national approaches. William T. Hogarth, head of the US National Marine Fisheries Service; Martin Hall, who runs the tuna-dolphin programme at the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and Jim Cook, president of the Hawaii Longliners Association will also address the conference. Further information is available from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, tel: 808-522-8220, email info@email@example.com, or via web at www.wpcouncil.org
CITES approves Patagonian toothfish proposal
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild faun and flora (CITES), currently meeting in Santiago has unanimously approved the Chilean proposal to regulate the fishing and commercialization of Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), without including it in CITES Appendix II. The Chilean government believes the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) regulations should be applied and that CCAMLR should establish unified standard rules, which cover everything from quotas to accidental fishing. This, claims the government, would ensure sustainable catches. Australia had initially said that Patagonian toothfish should be regulated by Appendix II of CITES and that commercialization should be regulated by each member country, but once Chile's proposal was accepted, Australia retracted its suggestion and acknowledged that Chile's proposal was the "first step" towards the conservation of the resource. Director of Chile's National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca), Sergio Mujica, told El Mostrador that he was satisfied with the results. "I believe Australia is satisfied with Chile's observations. I had hoped the Chilean proposal would win, but the truth is that I was surprised by the unanimity of the approval." The Chilean proposal basic objective is increased cooperation between CITES and CCAMLR to protect Patagonian toothfish, and above all, to ensure global use of the documentation system (CDS), which differentiates between legal and illegal production. This method is used to certify Patagonian toothfish all the way from catch-origin to destination country. Patagonian toothfish are slow to mature and so any overfishing or illegal catches have a devastating effect on the species. The fish live in sub-Antarctic waters, near the pole and in South America on Chile and Peru's coastline in the Pacific, and along Argentina, Uruguay and probably Brazil, in the South Atlantic.
Successful Namibian fisheries programme
International fisheries experts are praising the successful Namibian fisheries development programme, which has been in force for the last 10 years, acknowledging that although the country's fishing grounds are still recovering from overexploitation during the 1970s and 1980s, today the industry employs 14,000 people and was worth USD 354 million in 2000. Miguel Angel Tordesillas, general director of NovaAm ? Namibia's largest company owned by the Spanish group Pescanova ? said recently that fisheries resources could be found in many places around the world, but in Namibia there's proper resource management. "The Government introduced a pragmatic and intelligent scientific and political approach. We were the first investors to come back. Our trust has been rewarded 150 per cent and we continue investing and growing," he told Agroterra. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) collaborated with the local Government in restructuring Fisheries Ministry, implementing a fisheries master plan, drafting laws and monitoring Namibia's compliance with international fishery regulations. Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo told Agroterra that the FAO was chosen on the basis of its trustworthiness, competence and neutrality.
Sustainable shrimp fisheries seminar
Argentine fishery authorities and private sector representatives will be participating in a seminar to be held in Puerto Deseado, Santa Cruz, whose main objective is the achievement of a sustainable development of shrimp fisheries, according to a release from provincial officials. Argentine red shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri) has played a very significant role in the region's development and has helped to diversify catches attracting important investments targeted to international markets. The Patagonian provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces are the main beneficiaries of the shrimp fishery mainly in the San Jorge Gulf. The seminar includes a presentation by the Fishery Industry High Studies Foundation and a discussion on the Shrimp Fishery Regulation and Development Policy by Federal Fishery Council experts. Additionally the Fisheries and Aquaculture Deputy Secretariat will discuss the application of international shrimp regulations and management practices in Argentine waters. Organizers expect the seminar will provide a thorough grounding on biological, technical, economic and social aspects for the authorities to formulate short, medium and long-term policies, as well as specific methods, to form an effective strategy for the sustainable development and management of Argentine red shrimp. The First Patagonian Seminar on the Sustainable Development of Shrimp Fisheries is being organised by the Santa Cruz Fisheries and Port Activities Deputy Secretariat, Puerto Deseado Town Council and the Argentine Red Shrimp Chamber, and will take place in Puerto Deseado on 26 and 27 November.