Headlines: Spain's strong ties with illegal fishing; Maya V haul attracts buyer's interest; Aquaculture promotion in developing countries.
Spain's strong ties with illegal fishing
OCEANA, the international organisation dedicated to research and protection of marine life in the world's oceans, announced that Spain is one of the countries with strongest ties and interests in fishing vessels which operate illegally, and pointed out the Canary Isles and Galicia as topping the list. The organisation will present its findings on the subject, titled "Halting IUU Fishing: Enforcing International Fisheries Agreements,"in the upcoming meeting of the Organization for the Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) to take place in Paris between April 20 and 29. Specifics will be brought to light on the Spanish regions involvement in supplying and providing pirate ships. Oceana's main claim is Spain's failure to enforce legislation "allowing the persecution and imprisonment of Spanish citizens involved in this type of illegal fishery activity". Oceana also points out that Spain's Royal Decree 1134/2002 establishes sanctions in the fishery industry for nationals enrolled aboard vessels with Flags of Convenience (FOCs). According to Oceana's members, there are many international fishers and environmental organisations that have "denounced possible ties between illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and citizens of Spanish descent." Among those raising the alarm are the Coalition Of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO), the Antarctic and Meridian Oceans Coalition (ASOC), and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). Oceana states that Canary Isles is "where numerous vessels with FOCs seek port to land their (presumably "illegal") catches, bunker and buy provisions". "Many owners, captains, and crew aboard these vessels are from Galicia". Attached to the findings to be presented at OCDE, will be a list of 19 vessels which are presumably involved in illegal fishery activities and have called in Spanish ports within the last few months. The report will include several proposals to end IUU fishing, among which, putting an end to the FOCs; doing away with fiscal advantages and subsidies benefiting vessels involved in illegal trade and creation of a registry for vessel owners to keep track of fishermen. Furthermore tighter harbour controls are suggested, "to prevent providing shelter, facilities, support and/or supplies for vessels allegedly involved in illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing activities. (FIS/MP).-
"Maya V" haul attracts buyer's interest The illegal haul of Patagonian toothfish recovered from the Uruguayan-flagged longliner, "Maya V", has attracted strong interest from Australian and overseas buyers. Tender bids for the 192-tonne catch and the 62-tonne bait stocks, with an estimated value of around 1,8 million US dollars were advertised a couple of weeks ago and closed April 16. Australian authorities will announce the bids accepted next April 23. Although it's an open bid, Australian authorities have stipulated that the fish must be exported and not sold locally in Australia, reports News.com. According to the Fisheries Manager of International Operations, Tom Morris, selling the fish on the domestic market could have negative consequences for those trying to make a living out of the legal Patagonian toothfish fishery. Mr. Morris also believes that as there has been strong interest from international buyers, there shouldn't be any problem. However, "every company making a bid is checked by authorities to ensure that no fish will end being sold to the company involved in the illegal activity". The illegal haul was recovered from the Maya V following its apprehension by an Australian Naval vessel. The crew was charged with fishing without a valid license in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone. Most of the crew pleaded guilty to the charges, and the captain and four senior crew members are due to appear in court in May. All proceeds from the sale will be held in a trust until the legal proceedings against the crew and owners of the longliner have concluded. (FIS/MP).-
Aquaculture promotion in developing countries A new non-governmental organisation (NGO) has been established in United States aimed towards supporting aquaculture development in developing countries as a means to alleviate poverty. The group, Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF), which was originally proposed during the annual meeting of the World Aquaculture Society in 2003, has already received a vast amount of support from the sector, including volunteer services and donations, reports Aquafeed. The group intends to use a combination of education and financial assistance in order to promote small-scale aquaculture in developing countries in the hope that this will lead to economic development. Some of the ways through which AwF intends to achieve this aim include: ? Demonstrating aquaculture-related technology in order to construct and operate the farm; ? Assisting with product development; ? Providing farmers with technical and management training; ? Increasing awareness of the sector and its benefits; ? Building up a seed supply; ? Promoting the development of credit lines for seed purchasing; ? Promoting the sector as a way for women to obtain additional family income; ? Assisting the poorer sector of a country's population to obtain rights to land and water use; ? Promoting care of the environment; ? Supporting long-term stability over short-term benefits. AwF, which was officially launched in Hawaii on March 3, is seeking registration as a charitable organisation, thus enabling it to request assistance from philanthropic societies. It will also begin to recruit a small group of staff in order to begin fund raising activities and project development. (FIS/MP).-