Satellite imagery and big data infrastructure offer a more cost-effective way to tighten enforcement against IUU fishing, according to a report released by the UK-based charity, Overseas Development Institute (ODI). There are however problems that hinder efficiency.
Private monitoring initiatives like Global Fishing Watch and FishSpektrum are undermined by limited size and insufficient quality of their datasets, the report finds. One problem is tracking vessel location. Large vessels can be monitored as they are legally required to be fitted with communication equipment known as vessel monitoring systems (VMS) or automatic identification systems (AIS), however smaller fishing boats do not need these to be installed or the systems are simply switched off to avoid surveillance. One of the biggest problems is the absence of a unique global database of fishing vessels. Vessel records are dispersed across national ship registries, licencing bodies, national radio bodies, regional fisheries management organisations, and international organisations. The confusion multiplies as vessels change owners and operators, are reflagged, and are registered with new authorities. Identifying individual ships and their owners is therefore a significant challenge. As a result, most of the private initiatives have developed their own vessel databases to pool and correlate static data from varying sources. These range in size from around 75,000 vessels to over 779,00, but a far cry from FAO estimates of 4.6 million fishing vessels in 2016. Better data management and closer collaboration between the different initiatives to gather, standardise, and analyse this data will contribute to making initiatives against illegal fishing more effective. The report calls in fact for a single unified database, if the fight against IUU fishing is not to be an uphill battle.
Japanese seriola (Seriola lalandi) farms run by Kurose Suisan and Global Ocean Works are the first in the world to be certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standard. Yellowtail is the most widely farmed finfish in Japan and an integral and historical part of many coastal communities. Kurose Suisan achieved the certification in December 2017 after an independent assessment, following the ASC multi-site approach, of three sites – Kushima, Uchinoura and Nobeoka Farma – by SCS Global Services. The ASC Seriola and Cobia Standard, launched just over a year ago, addresses the key negative environmental and social impacts associated with seriola farming. The standard requires that farms preserve local habitats and biodiversity, minimise fish escapes, conserve water and water quality, and manage production with minimal use of therapeutics and antibiotics. The responsible sourcing of feed ingredients, including strict limits on the use of wild fish as an ingredient, and full traceability back to a responsibly managed source, are additional demands that farms are expected to fulfil.
The value of Vietnam’s seafood exports reached an all-time high in 2017 and the country is aiming to better this in 2018, reports Seafood Source. The latest data from Vietnam Customs show seafood exports were worth EUR6.8 billion (USD8.3 billion) in 2017, an increase of 18 percent compared with 2016. Vietnams’s vice minister for agriculture, Vu Van Tam said exports in 2018 aim at EUR 7.3 billion, up 8.2 percent from 2017. Shrimp and pangasius are Vietnam’s two major seafood export products. In 2017, the export value of shrimp rose 21 percent year-on-year to EUR3.11 billion, while that of pangasius increased nearly four percent to EUR1.47 billion. Despite the higher rate of inspections recently initiated in the US, imports of Vietnamese seafood were worth EUR1.2 billion. However, the E.U. was the top destination for seafood products from Vietnam in 2017 for the first time. A top priority for Vietnam’s agriculture and the country’s seafood industry will be to get the E.U. to withdraw the so-called “yellow card’, which was imposed by the European Commission in October 2017 in response to the country’s shortcomings in dealing with domestic IUU fishing problems. Since then, Vietnam has taken a series of legislative and administrative measures to counter the problem.
The Directorate of Fisheries of Croatia has announced the entry into force of new regulations governing sports fishers that subjects them to new obligations, but also open up areas previously closed to them. A new special license is required for certain kinds of fishing tackle, while a new license is required to fish in national parks, wildlife reserves, and nature parks, areas hitherto closed to sports fishers. Another change is the obligation to tag each of 18 fish species that are recognized as economically important but caught in recreational fisheries. Tagging is by cutting the tail of the fish or by notching cephalopods under the eyes. The idea is to try and prevent the commercial sale of fish caught by recreational fishers. The maximum allowable catch per day is 5 kg of fish and 2 kg of shellfish and cephalopods.
A license for recreational sea fishing can now be purchased at the web shop on the Directorate of Fisheries' website www.mps.hr/ribarstvo. A sport and recreational fishing license can be issued for a one-day, three-day, one-week, one-month or one-year period. Annual licenses can be bought from 1 December to 1 March at authorised dealers for recreational licenses at sea, or at the Directorate of Fisheries’ offices in Zagreb or the field.
Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister for the Environment and Food, will investigate whether companies are breeding fish for which they do not have permission. In autumn at Hjarnø in Horsens Fjord, Denmark about 200 coho salmon escaped from a farm. Following a request from the Danish Sports Fishing Association, it emerged that the company did not have all the necessary permits to breed the non-indigenous species. While a farming company is responsible for having the permits in place, the authorities need to do more to ensure knowledge of the rules and to make sure that they are being respected, said Mr Lunde Larsen. The farm in question was authorised by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to import coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) eggs but did not have a valid permit to breed an alien species. The minister has now asked the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to check for and address any similar cases.
New EU rules on how, where and when fish can be caught, were enacted by the European Parliament (EP). Key highlights are an EU-wide ban on the use of electric pulse fishing, simpler rules on fishing gear and minimum size of fish, more regional flexibility for fishermen, but also limits on catches of vulnerable stocks and juvenile fish. The new law, which updates and combines more than 30 regulations, also allows tailor-made measures that cater to the regional needs of each sea basin. During the vote on existing technical measures in fisheries, the EP adopted an amendment of importance to Croatian fisheries – the amendment to strike a Mediterranean Regulation provision which prevented the use of purse seines at depths less than 70% of their height, which did not suit Croatian fishermen and nearly stopped such fishing since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013. An amendment calling for a total ban on the use of electric current for fishing (e.g. to drive fish up out of the seabed and into the net) was passed by 402 votes to 232, with 40 abstentions. The EU rules, designed to progressively reduce juvenile catches, would prohibit some fishing gear and methods, impose general restrictions on the use of towed gear and static nets, restrict catches of marine mammals, seabirds and marine reptiles, include special provisions to protect sensitive habitats, and ban practices such as “high-grading” (discarding low-priced fish even though they should legally be landed) in order to reduce discarding.
The meeting point for Southern, Eastern European and Mediterranean basin markets is scheduled for 15th and 16th February 2018 in Pordenone (Venice Area) - Italy.
The European Environment Agency recent report on 'Food in a green light' (https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/food-in-a-green-light) states it unmistakenly: the European Union must transform its food system to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring sustainable food production systems by 2030 and the European Union's long term sustainability goal of 'living well, within the limits of the planet' by 2050. Concerning aquaculture production, the challenge for all players is to harmonize the European Union goal to rise inside 2030 the aquaculture production in Europe by 41% for freshwater species and 112% for Mediterranean seawater species, compared to 2010 levels.
Italy is one of the primary aquaculture producers of the continent and is actively working on both public and company-funded research to increase product quantity and quality while reducing environmental impacts of aquaculture. Further, Italian companies and trade associations are actively partnering with emerging European and Mediterranean countries’ farmers and industries.
Aquafarm the 2018 edition of conference and trade show, organized by Pordenone Fiere, is scheduled for 15-16 February 2018. The first edition, last January, exceeded expectations with more than one thousand professional operator attending from 25 countries, 82 brands exhibiting, 4 active partnerships with trade associations, both national and international, 15 international conferences with 113 speakers, 12 media partners. More than 80% of the first edition exhibitors had already rebooked on site or within three months after the event.
With these numbers, and the goal of improving on them, AquaFarm is rapidly fulfilling its aim to become a meeting point for researchers, industry leaders, public institutions, policy makers and investors, operating in sustainable aquaculture and related fields of algaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics and aeroponics.
Aquafarm primary sponsors and supporters are industry associations, large and medium fish farmers companies with innovative and sustainable products and processes, and suppliers of fish feed, equipments, drugs and vaccines. The conference agenda will be structured on eighteen thematic sessions, covering all aspects of aquaculture and related fields. Examples include low-and-no-oceanic resources use feeds using new protein and oil sources (this year insects and genetically enhanced Camelina are all the rage); genetics and genomics techniques, including CRISPR; integrated fish culture and vegetables in close-loop controlled environments (aquaponics); the oft overlooked but all-important processing and distribution stages of aquaculture products and many others.
CONFERENCES & NETWORKING: Conference sessions will include the usual balance of speeches and presentations by researchers, fish farmers, suppliers and user communities, such as food industry, packagers, logistics operators, retailers and consumers. The 2018 edition will include a new stream of sessions built in quasi-realtime from the explicit information requests by the attending operators. A supervising scientific committee, including both researchers and farming industry participants will assure the quality of content of the individual speeches as last year. The poster area dedicated to junior researchers and very early stage projects will be enlarged.
ENGAGING WITH THE INDUSTRY: Aquafarm 2018 will feature an international trade exhibition, where Italian and international companies will show case their rates products, services and technologies related to the sectors: fish farmers, suppliers, associations, public institutions, universities and investors. A number of sponsorship and exhibition packages are available tailored to the needs of every kind of participants, from fully-fledged corporate booths to contact desks and poster-like presence. Collective booths for country delegations are also available at special conditions.
Aquafarm 2018 will host international speakers and case histories from Europe and Mediterranean regions in different vertical sessions.
The 2017 December issue celebrates 20 years of the Eurofish Magazine. This issue looks at fisheries and aquaculture headlines over the last two decades and shows some of the people working behind the scenes.
The issue also features Romania, as the main country profile and contains pieces on Latvia and Russia.
The species section focuses on Europe’s carp farming and its needs for new marketing ideas. Under the Trade and Markets section we look at the implementation of the new EU-Canada trade agreement and how the deal will effect consumer prices and boost trade.
Issues that determine the future of world fishery and aquaculture and, among other things, the balance of interests of the countries in their competition for fishing resources will be discussed at the first Global Fishery Forum to be launched on 14 September in St. Petersburg.
It will be Russia’s first time to host professionals of the global fishing industry and related areas. Ilya Shestakov, Head of the Federal Agency for Fishery, spoke about the Forum at his press conference at TASS MIA on 17 August.
“We are talking not only showcasing achievements, and we do have things to show and things to see; we are talking about a communications platform where representatives of the world’s leading fishery countries will meet: members of executive authorities, business communities and sectoral associations”, Shestakov explained the Forum’s concept.
He noted that the fishing industry currently does not have such a platform. “There are events held specifically for businesses, there are events for government agencies, such as The North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers’ Conference; these platforms are arranged by convention region. On the whole, businesses and government officials virtually do not discuss global policies. There is also the UN’s FAO, but it conducts a more socially orientated and state-based dialogue”, Shestakov pointed out.
Plans for the Forum involve discussing the global communities’ key issues in developing fisheries. For instance, ensuring food security while simultaneously preserving the World Ocean’s biodiversity given today’s population and consumption growth. “The increasing competition for natural resources should also be taken into account. We need to find a balance of interests and answers to many global questions. This is why our Plenary session is called ‘A Global View of Fishing in the World Ocean: Cooperation or Competition?’” the head of Russia’s Agency for Fishery said about the Forum’s central event.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich, Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Alexander Tkachev, Norway’s Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg, Cyprus’s Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment Nicos Kouyialis, President of the Japan Fisheries Association Toshiro Shirasu, a representative of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean at FAO (UN), and other speakers will participate in the discussion.
Heads and representatives of sectoral agencies from such countries as the Faroe Islands, Australia, the US, China, Namibia, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone will also attend the Forum event. Delegations from Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Mauritania, Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Iceland and Italy are also expected to attend.
In parallel with the Forum, St. Petersburg will host Seafood Expo, an exhibition of the fish industry, seafood and technologies presenting the products of Russian fishing companies and the capacities of Russia’s wharves and design institutes. Manufacturers of equipment for fish processing and for fishing vessels from around the world will exhibit their solutions. “Cutting-edge equipment and technologies will be in great demand for fulfilling the sectoral tasks of fleet renewal and of developing state-of-the-art fish processing, especially given the decisions on applying investment quotas”, Ilya Shestakov stressed.
German Zverev, President of the Russian National Association of Fisheries, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (VARPE), member of the Organizing Committee, agreed that the Global Fishery Forum would be a communications platform for the most influential people in the global fishing industry. “In essence, this is the fishing industry’s ‘Davos’, where officials, business people and scientists from around the world will discuss the most topical and interesting trends in the global fishing industry in the same format as the discussions held at the World Economic Forum”, the head of the sectoral association explained.
The Forum’s programme includes a plenary session, six roundtables and a conference[T1] . German Zverev said that seven of the world’s top ten fishery countries and seven top aquaculture countries have already confirmed their participation. The Forum will be attended by members of the top management of FAO and the World Wildlife Foundation, as well as leaders of the iggest international associations.
“If we do the maths, we will see that delegations arriving in St Petersburg in September represent the countries that account for half the global aquatic bioresources capture and for 2/3 of the global aquaculture production”, VARPE’s President emphasised.
Deadline: 30 May 2017
Deputy Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, FAO
People with a background and experience in fish or fisheries biology, ecology, physiology, resource stock assessment or management, aquaculture development, fishing operations or technology, and in the provision of scientific advice to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture are encouraged to apply.
More details are available at http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/VA/pdf/IRC4149.pdf.