My opinion on this vast subject is that thegovernment encourages for decades intensive monocultures (pollutants,pesticides) and super-mechanized intensive pollutants. It is the same principlefor the sea.
For many years, fisheries subsidies have been on the agenda of theinternational community.A solution could be to go from fishing toaquaculture, as we have done millennia ago from hunting to farming, fromgathering to agriculture.Moreover, several members of the WTOproposed to ban subsidies that increase the capacity of fishing fleets, eitheras a general rule (subsidies contributing to overcapacity) or by targetingspecific forms of subsidies. All of that it could be a good start. I thinkgovernments, locals and international organizations have to work together onthe long term, and not only think about court solutions. Discussion question: What are theconcerns and solutions to illegal fishing?Estimated ataround 20% of global catches, between 11 and 26 million tones, illegal fishingor IUU fishing (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) represents a loss ofbetween 10 and 23 billion euros each year globally.IUU fishing means that catches have beenmisreported and have not been declared at all to the competent publicauthorities. IUU fishing is contributing to overexploitation of stocks.
The living conditions, food security andthe management and conservation of measures put in place are being endangeredby these illegal practices. To fight against illegal fishing is to promoteenvironmental, social and economic development.I found three kinds of concerns thatillegal fishing can bring.
The first one isthat it can be considered as an imbalance factor. While illegal fishing poses areal environmental threat by consuming global fish stocks and threateningmarine ecosystems and biodiversity and also by undermining the protection andrecovery measures put in place, it also creates serious economic and socialimbalances. Illegal fishers, first of all, cause a strong distortion ofcompetition, implying a decrease in catches, incomes and jobs within groupsthat practice legal fishing. They threaten the existence of the fishery sectorby over-exploiting and consuming resource.These consequences are huge in thosecountries where fishing is the main source of income and a source of food.Illegal fishing practices directly threaten these jobs, with a loss of incomefor the fishermen and their families whose depend on it.
Indeed, thefisheries sector faces fierce competition from illegal fishing, whose operatorsdo not respect any of the many obligations imposed on regular operators fishingin the same waters or targeting the same species and financial markets.Fishermen who comply with the regulations are therefore discriminated againstbecause of the unfair practices of other fishermen, which in particular leadsto loss of market share for the fishing industry. This problem has worsened inrecent years due to the globalization of the fishing industry.Another concerncan be the consequences on the environment as I mentioned before. However, thenegative impact of IUU fishing on the environment goes far beyond direct damageto fish stocks. These practices are also a real danger to ecosystems and marinehabitats.
The use of prohibited fishing methods may result in the presence of asignificant proportion of unwanted species in bycatch, which is then discarded.Often it’s not only fish, but also other animals such as sea birds or turtles,the vast majority of which will not survive.The thirdconcern is that illegal fishing is said to be a profitable practice. Practicedby all types of ships, regardless of registration, origin, size or condition,particularly offshore, out of sight, illegal fishing is always commendable andeven favored (like fishing overcapacity).And the lastconcern I was to talk about is regarding the heavy consequences for thedeveloping countries. For many of them, fisheries resources play a key role infood security and poverty reduction.
In many cases, developing coastalcountries lack the means and capabilities necessary for the proper managementand control of the maritime waters under their jurisdiction. Some irregular andunscrupulous operators take advantage of these weaknesses and engage in fishingactivities without the authorization of coastal states, thus plundering vitalresources for local fishermen.We can say, thatall these concerns are related to each other, so figured out solution for onecan help improve the others as well. However, what kind of solutions we can find for better resource management? Today, 61.3% of the world’s fish stocks areexploited at their maximum renewal threshold and 28.
8%1 of stocksare overexploited. The WWF thus underlines the state of emergency and sets thegoal of the end of illegal fishing in 2025. I order to do so, we need to takeseveral actions: First, we need to ensure the implementation and improve overall international agreements and measures. It also include the definition of a true regulatory status of fisheries in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Secondly, we need to strengthen management and supervision measures for fishing activities within Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) with a real involvement of States Parties and taking into account scientific advice, particularly RFMOs which operate in areas sensitive to IUU fishing. It is also essential to better take into account the role of Asian countries, especially China, in the various policies implemented at international level. Thirdly, we need to increase the financial penalties for serious infringements of the rules on fishing and the marketing of illegal catches. Financial penalties must reach a level that deters fraudsters and could be associated with other sanctions such as the confiscation of catches or vessels and / or the withdrawal of licenses. Fourthly, we need to strengthen cooperation with international partners to improve monitoring, control and surveillance of illegal fishing activities (in the high seas for example). Filthy, we need to increase support to developing countries to improve the control and management of their national waters.
That what’s WTO is trying to do with the SCM Agreement which allows a more flexible approach for these Members. They are applying a special regime applicable to developing and least-developed countries because they understood the importance in the economy. And finally, we need to make the consumer aware that Northern countries are an important lever of change because their choices influence the production and supply modes. When focusing on products for which we have the highest level of information, local, fair markets and labeled products, it has an impact on the market.
So, we can say that the task is not easyand that it will be some long-term actions. However, annihilating illegalfishing involves actions throughout the industry, from the South to the Northand need international preoccupation.1 FAO, 2004