Minister of State Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP blogs on the importance of the Commonwealth following his visit to New Zealand and Canada.Sometimes the Commonwealth is seen as a relic of the past. I argue passionately that it is nothing of the sort. The test is always the same – would we invent the Commonwealth today? The answer is that we would. It is an important organisation for the present and the future.
Spanish government last Friday announced penalties that could reach more than €11 million against Spanish nationals, including companies involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. An EU coalition of three international NGOs, including Environmental Justice Foundation, Oceana and WWF described the fines as a historic moment in the battle against IUU fishing and are calling on other EU member states to follow suit with their own nationals.
At the request of New Zealand, INTERPOL Purple Notices have been issued to seek information on the individuals and networks behind three vessels fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.
Staying hidden behind sea ice and large waves, sailors aboard a navy patrol boat from New Zealand sneaked up on three suspected poaching ships, then took photos and video of the fishermen hauling in prized fish in banned nets from the ocean near Antarctica. Seemingly caught red-handed, the crews of the rusting vessels just kept on fishing.
The New Zealand navy has discovered a third boat fishing illegally. The Foreign Ministry informed that the HMNZS Wellington caught another vessel, Yongding, to the west of the Ross Sea, in Antarctic waters.