Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing will be much more difficult from now on thanks to the imminent entry into force of the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), states the Organization the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO announced that once the necessary threshold has been reached, with 30 member countries that have formally deposited their adhesion instruments, the countdown has begun for the entry into force of this innovative international treaty. The first international treaty in the world aimed specifically at combating IUU fishing will become an international law, which is binding, on June 5. Together, the 29 countries and the European Union -- which has signed as individual part – who have formally committed through their adhesion instruments to the agreement account for more than 62 per cent of fish imports worldwide, and 49 per cent of exports, totalling more than USD 133,000 million and USD 139,000 million, respectively, in 2013 (...) The following States and regional economic integration organizations are part of the agreement: Australia, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, European Union -- Organisation Member--, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Iceland, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, United States of America, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

Source: fis.com

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Cook Islands Minister of Internal affairs, Albert Nicholas, says many people in his electorate are opposed to the planned purse seine fishing deal with the European Union. The US$6.5 million deal would grant access to four EU purse seiners to catch up to 7,000 tonnes of tuna a year in the Cooks' Exclusive Economic Zone. It has been widely criticised with the latest claims that the government has been advised by its own officials that the documents are fatally flawed. Mr Nicholas says he may take an information paper to cabinet outlining the opposition from his constituents to the fishing plan. His comments come after the Agriculture Minister, Kiriau Turepu, said an independent team from the private sector should have been identified at the outset to advise the government on the deal. The Prime Minister Henry Puna, who is also the Fisheries Minister, is adamant the EU deal is yet to be signed off.

Source: radionz.co.nz

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Caribbean countries have a living bank of marine resources from which they collectively cash out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support emerging national economies by providing good jobs, food and foreign exchange, among other benefits. However, in order to remain active and competitive in the global marketplace, countries have had to find ways to surmount the challenges posed by stringent international standards called sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, for food safety and for protection against diseases carried animals and plants. Under an EU-funded SPS Measures Project, the ability of Caribbean countries to effectively address those challenges is being strengthened through initiatives such as specialized training for those gatekeepers who help to ensure the safety of both imported and exported foods. The project has reached a new milestone, as a group of professionals from CARIFORUM states -- the countries which make up the Caribbean Community, as well as the Dominican Republic -- has just concluded a sanitary and phytosanitary management course. The intensive two-week training, held at the United Nations University – Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP) in Reykjavik, Iceland, was organized under the capacity building component of the project.

Source: caribbeannewsnow.com

The first-ever EU fisheries agreement with Liberia and its associated implementation protocol were signed and entered into provisional application in December 2015. Their conclusion is now subject to approval by the European Parliament in a plenary vote. Atlantic tropical tunas are highly migratory species and, consequently, fishing vessels targeting them endeavour to follow their migration across the waters of different coastal countries and on the high seas. Liberia's waters are located on the migration path of three key tropical tuna species: yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack. Access to these waters is therefore of particular interest to the EU tuna fleet, and would allow it to follow the regional migration, increasing its operational efficiency. The ex-ante evaluation carried out in connection with the preparation of the agreement shows that fishing in Liberian waters has been a significant part of EU tuna-fleet strategy for decades (though outside the framework of EU agreements), slotting in a regional network of fishing opportunities.

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol. The first fisheries agreement with Mauritania was concluded in 1987, as a continuation of the pre-accession arrangements of Spain and Portugal with Mauritania. It was reshaped into a cooperation agreement in 1996. In 2006, it became a fisheries partnership agreement (FPA), renewable for six-year periods, with the current period covering 2012-2018. Unlike most current FPAs, which focus on tuna, the EU-Mauritania FPA is one of the few mixed agreements providing access to a wide range of stocks. For EU vessels to be allowed to fish within the framework of the FPA, a protocol is required in order to define the fishing opportunities for EU vessels in Mauritanian waters and the financial contribution to be paid by the EU. Following the expiry of the previous, rather controversial, protocol in December 2014, a new protocol was signed and entered into provisional application on 16 November 2015.

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Tuesday, 03 May 2016

Commission’s decisions are based on the EU's 'IUU Regulation', which entered into force in 2010. This key instrument in the fight against illegal fishing ensures that only fisheries products that have been certified as legal can access the EU market. Since November 2012 the Commission has been in formal dialogue with several third countries (pre-identification or "yellow card"), which have been warned of the need to take strong action to fight IUU fishing. In case of significant progress, the Commission can end the dialogue (lifting the pre-identification status or "green card").

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Trinidad and Tobago is at risk of being sanctioned by the European Union (EU) for being uncooperative in the fight against illegal fishing, and has been given six months to address the problems. Failure to do so could see fisheries products from the country banned from entering the EU. The twin-island republic was among three countries warned yesterday by the European Commission – the others being Kiribati and Sierra Leone – and given “yellow cards”, which indicate they will be listed as uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing if certain steps are not taken.

Fish are not only tasty and nutritious, but also increasingly at risk. Overfishing is causing fish stocks to drop around the world. The EU aims to promote sustainable fishing in Europe as part of its common fisheries policy. This week Parliament's fisheries committee votes on important agreements with Liberia and Mauritania and looks at how to improve the situation in the Mediterranean. Overfishing continues to pose a threat to fish stocks throughout the world. In Europe the situation in the Mediterranean is proving problematic.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

In December 2015 the European Commission proposed a revised system for issuing and managing fishing authorisations, intended to improve monitoring and transparency of the EU external fishing fleet. The proposal, replacing the current 'Fishing Authorisations Regulation' 1006/2008, would apply to all EU vessels fishing outside EU waters, and to third-country vessels fishing in EU waters. The current scope of the authorisation system would be extended to include practices which have been poorly monitored so far, such as private agreements between EU companies and third countries and abusive reflagging operations.

Monday, 18 April 2016

The Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, has rejected opposition claims that a deal with the European Union on fishing access is illegal. The opposition had contended that the secretary of marine resources, Ben Ponia, by initialling the plan, had acted illegally. The US$6.5 million dollar deal would grant access to four EU purse seiners to catch up to 7,000 tonnes of tuna a year in the Cooks' Exclusive Economic Zone. Mr Puna, who is also fisheries minister, said all Mr Ponia has done is initial a draft agreement for discussion and negotiation purposes.