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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Trinidad and Tobago's IUU yellow card sign of deeper problem

When Trinidad and Tobago received a yellow card from the European Union last year for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the country's government was motivated to take steps to remedy one of the problems plaguing the twin island nation’s fishing industry for decades. However, the yellow card served to highlight systemic problems with the management of Trinidad and Tobago's fisheries that has led to important fish stocks being overexploited or fully exploited. The overexploitation or full exploitation of important fisheries has meant that local fishermen “have to go farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer fish,” said Terrence Beddoe, president of the NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea of Trinidad and Tobago (FFOS). It also means that the country is spending much more on seafood imports than it earns from fish exports, according to trade data on the Food and Agriculture Organization's website. A 2014 report by the Fisheries Division of Trinidad and Tobago's Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries revealed that many of the most important marine fish stocks have either been overfished or fully exploited. For example, king mackerel in the Fisheries Division report is listed as fully exploited to overexploited. In describing this same species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature website notes that, in the U.S., a fisheries management plan has “helped to recuperate king mackerel fisheries.” On the other hand, the website states, “in Trinidad, fishing effort is not controlled” though there are regulations that specify the maximum length and depth and minimum mesh size of nets that can be used in this fishery.

Source: www.seafoodsource.com