IN BRIEF - Official says Taiwan hopes to ink new fishery deal soon
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Taiwan hopes to sign an agreement with Japan on fishery rights as soon as possible, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday in the wake of a report that Japan hopes to ink the deal in the first half of this year.
“We hope to have it [the agreement] signed as soon as possible,” ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said.
He made the remarks in response to a report published on Wednesday that said Japan’s representative to Taiwan, Sumio Tarui, expressed hope in a speech in Taipei that Taiwan and Japan can ink a fishery agreement no later than the first half of this year.
Taiwan and Japan held a preparatory meeting in November to discuss a resumption of formal fishery talks to address the issue of fishing rights in the waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Hsia said.
No timetable has been set for the next meeting, although Taiwan and Japan have a common goal of resuming talks as soon as possible, he said.
The previous 16 rounds of talks, dating back to 1996, failed to deliver concrete results, but Taiwanese officials have expressed hope that progress will be achieved when talks resume.
Taiwan and Japan last held talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories in 2009, but discussions have been stalled since then.
Taiwanese fishermen consider the waters near the Diaoyutais as their traditional fishing grounds, but are routinely chased away by Japanese authorities when venturing too close to what Japan sees as its territorial waters.
Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) is pleased to announce a new, first-of-its-kind evaluation tool and grading system for fishery improvement projects (FIPs) that will allow the seafood industry and other stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of these initiatives.
SFP routinely collects data on FIPs, but this new component uses that data to provide the seafood industry with an easy-to-understand snapshot of a project’s status.
The tool defines six “stages” of achievement for each FIP. Each stage has a number of criteria, ranging from requiring fishery evaluations or assessments from third parties to demonstrating publicly that a FIP is working to achieving sustainability certification from a third party such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
Based in part on what stage a particular FIP has reached, it will also receive a letter grade, from A to E, with an “A” grade indicating Exceptional Progress and an “E” grade indicating Negligible Progress. To illustrate the system, SFP is releasing, together with this statement, a list of FIPs with their respective grades. Current progress ratings are available at www.FishSource.com.
LONDON, The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF) applauds the decision taken by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to adopt a harvest control rule (HCR) for skipjack tuna caught in the Indian Ocean. This agreement will help provide a sustainable future for the region’s coastal communities and this multi-billion dollar tuna fishery.
The proposal sets pre-agreed management measures that aim to keep the skipjack population at healthy levels, while ensuring the fishery itself is profitable and accessible to all. Unlike most fishery management measures taken at the international level, this measure is not intended to restrict or reduce current fishing. Since the skipjack population is currently healthy, the measure simply outlines pre-agreed steps that will be taken if the fishery becomes unsustainable in the future.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) applauds the decision by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to adopt much needed harvest control rules for skipjack tuna caught in the Indian Ocean. The agreement, reached by member states attending the IOTC annual meeting this week in La Reunion, marks a turning point in the management of tuna stocks and will support the long term sustainability of the Indian Ocean skipjack fishery.
This new measure received wide support among IOTC member states, demonstrating the collective commitment among both coastal and distant water fishing nations to maintaining healthy skipjack stocks in the Indian Ocean, and benefiting all fisheries, including the MSC certifiedMaldives pole and line fishery.
Sanford, the country's largest listed fishing group, almost doubled its first-half profit as it focused on lifting values over volumes and benefited from lower fuel costs and a weaker New Zealand dollar.
Profit jumped to NZD 18.8 million, or 20.1 cents per share, in the six months ended March 31, from NZD 9.6 million, or 10.2 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue from continuing operations edged up 1.3 percent to NZD 215.6 million even as sales volumes sank abut 20 percent as the company extracted more value from its catch.
Shares in Sanford rose 2.6 percent to a month high of $5.85.
Sanford chief executive Volker Kuntzsch, who joined the company in December 2013 with a 25-year career in the international fishing industry, is reorganising the group to focus on increasing value over volume, exiting unprofitable units and bringing the fisher closer to its customers. It sold its last Pacific Tuna vessel in the period, recognising a NZD 5 million impairment charge after deciding to quit the "unsustainable" business, and said sales were impacted by lower catches of skipjack tuna and hoki as it moves to align supply with demand.
MEP Richard Corbett, joined Grimsby MP, Melanie Onn on a tour of Grimsby's finest fishing businesses.
Mr Corbett is a member of the Europe's Fisheries Committee, which monitors and examines current European legislation and proposes changes to the Common Fisheries Policy to better serve the whole fishing industry.
He said: "It was fascinating to see the ins and outs of Grimsby's formidable seafood industry, and to see how integrated the industry is into the European market.
In 2001, New Zealand’s hoki fisheries became the first large-scale whitefish fisheries to achieve MSC certification, and have since been re-certified twice in 2007 and 2012. To achieve certification, fisheries must demonstrate to a third party certifier that they: ensure the long-term sustainability of fish stocks; minimise impacts on the marine environment; and are well managed, with effective governance and enforcement systems. Certification requires robust evidence to demonstrate that requirements are met.
"The MSC’s requirements reflect latest science and best management practices for environmentally responsible and sustainable fishing. To achieve MSC certification fisheries undergo 18 months of investigation, including stakeholder consultation and scientific peer review," says MSC’s Regional Director for the Asia Pacific Region, Patrick Caleo.
The East Devon fishing industry could soon secure in excess of GBP 800,000 from the Marine Management Organisation, under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The Marine Management Organisation licence, regulate and plan marine activities in the seas around England and Wales and the EMFF supports fisheries, inland waters, aquaculture and maritime sectors.
The Dorset Coast Forum, with the input of many organisations within the fisheries sector, submitted an application to form a Dorset and East Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) and have been successful in the first round.
Six FLAGs in England have got through to the next stage, where they are required to write a community led local development strategy to submit in the second round.
Indian Ocean – Activists on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza chased a controversial vessel at the heart of Thai Union’s supply chain from its moorings today, in the latest in a series of global protests against the tuna giant’s destructive fishing practices.
At 0530 local time, nine activists in inflatable boats delivered a cease and desist letter to the deck of the Explorer II, a supply vessel habitually mooring itself to an underwater seamount as part of a controversial practice linked to overfishing using high-powered lights. They then returned to use spray-paint to black out some of the array of lights ringing the decks.
Arifsyah Nasution, Ocean Campaigner at Greenpeace South-East Asia on board the Esperanza, said: “We first spotted the Explorer II when we saw it glowing from miles away at night, beaming lights directly into the water, likely intended to attract fish for other vessels to scoop up. It’s a highly contentious practice and it’s no surprise people are calling for a crackdown on it. We knew we had to address it directly.”
The Oxfam Vietnam and the International Collaborating Center for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability (ICAFIS) under Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) and the European Union officially jointly launched the project.
Small and medium enterprises (SME) processors, shrimp producers and inhabitants in a number of Mekong Delta Provinces will benefit from a project.
The project worth EUR 2.5 million, funded by the European Union aims to promote sustainable economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Vietnam, through improving social and environmental impacts of shrimp value chain development.