Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

A “ground-breaking” international treaty to combat fishing pirates took effect Sunday, becoming legally binding in 29 countries that so far have adhered to it, the UN’s food agency said. Under it, countries are legally required to inspect trawlers when they enter their ports for signs of illicit catches. “This is a great day in the continuing effort to build sustainable fisheries that can help feed the world,” said Graziano da Silva, director general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). We hail those countries that have already signed on to the agreement and who will begin implementing it as of today.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Fisheries Commission fears an imminent European Commission (EC) ban on the exportation of Ghana's fish again, if the fisheries laws are not enforced to the letter. About eight months ago, the EC, which is the executive of the European Union and promotes its general interest, lifted an export ban on Ghana, citing significant reforms in Ghana's fisheries governance. But recent illegal activities are getting the EC worried again.

EU vessels to catch shrimp, tuna and other fish in return for funds, but critics say there is little evidence that EU cash is helping Mauritanian fishing communities. The EU has renewed a four-year fishing agreement with Mauritania that will allow more than 100 EU vessels into Mauritania’s waters in return for funding that will support local fishing communities.

Friday, 17 June 2016

The European Union has renewed a four year fishing agreement with Mauritania that will allow over 100 EU vessels into Mauritania’s waters in return for funding that will support local fishing communities. But the deal has its critics. The agreement, which was greenlit by the European Parliament, is an avenue for the member states to bolster a burgeoning domestic demand for fish that the bloc is unable to satisfy. Since 2009, EU imports of fish stock for local consumption have risen by 6% each year. In 2014 alone, the bloc imported €21 billion, quadruple that of meat imports. The agreement, which dates back to 1987, is considered crucial because it is the most comprehensive the EU has had with any African country and belongs to the sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs) that gives EU vessels access to third countries fishing waters. The new deal will come under the umbrella of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which has committed the bloc to more sustainable fishing, in stark contrast to the overfishing of the African coast that was undertaken in the past.

Source: euractiv.com

Tuesday, 07 June 2016

Not only did the state company EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company) borrow hundreds of millions of dollars on the European bond market to purchase a brand new fleet of fishing boats, but it now turns out that the boats are not fit for purpose. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, told deputies of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, last week that ten of the 24 EMATUM fishing boats are being refitted in South Africa so that they meet the technical specifications demanded by the European Union for boats that catch fisheries produce intended for the European market. But the boats were all built at a shipyard, Constructions Mechaniques de Normandie (CMN), in the French port of Cherbourg, and France is a member of the European Union. Maleiane was thus effectively claiming that boats built recently in a European shipyard do not meet the European Union's own specifications for fishing boats.

Source: allafrica.com

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Divisions in the Cook Islands over a controversial fishing deal have reached a new peak with opposition MPs asking a Swedish politician to talk to the European Union on their behalf. The government is set to sign a deal with the EU that would allow Spanish vessels to fish in its exclusive economic zone for at least eight years. About 4,000 people have signed a petition against the move. The opposition's finance and economy spokesman, James Beer, has written to Sweden's minister for International Development Cooperation, Isabella Lovin, to lobby the EU. Ms Lovin is a former member of the EU parliament and experienced in fisheries. In 2013, she wrote to the Kiribati government expressing her concerns over a similar agreement it had initialled. Mr Beer says the government has been continually warned that it's a bad agreement for the Cook Islands.

Source: radionz.co.nz

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