Israel’s Defence Ministry announced in late October a re-extension of Gaza’s fishing zone, which had been tightened following border hostilities and Palestinian demonstrations of the Great Return March which began in March. "Israel informed the Palestinian side that it has decided to extend the fishing area to nine nautical miles from the centre to the south and six miles from the centre to the north of the strip," said the chairperson of the fishing committee of the enclave Zakareya Bakr in a statement.
The fishing zone had been as wide as 20 nautical miles from shore as agreed in the 1995 Oslo Accords, and 12 nautical miles following the 2002 Berlin Commitments. It has in recent times been “by default” six nautical miles except during frequent restrictions. Earlier in October, the Defence Ministry ordered a tightening to three nautical miles, which severely impacted local fishermen because of the small quantities of fish found so close to shore.
In addition to tightening the fishing zone, other past measures taken because of hostilities have included restrictions on fuel supplies and closures of commercial crossings from Gaza, which also adversely affect fishermen. Gaza-harvested fish is sold locally as well as in other Palestinian areas and in Israel.
Ecuador has joined the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as a non-Contracting Cooperating Party, the conservation body announced. As a result, Ecuador can now catch Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), obtain registration and certification of origin, and export the tightly regulated fish to markets around the world. The species is often marketed as Chilean seabass, regardless of the country of origin.
Patagonian toothfish is a threatened species, owing in large part to IUU fishing. It is a large fish and grows slowly, making it susceptible to overfishing in general, and IUU fishing greatly exacerbates the problem. Therefore, CCAMLR has taken responsibility for international regulation of Patagonian toothfish and requires countries to register exports in its Catch Documentation System (SDC).
The overcapacity in Europe’s salmon feed market is causing at least one major feed producer to close its production operations in the UK. Norway-based Skretting, a Nutreco subsidiary, operates production facilities in 19 countries worldwide, including one each in Scotland and England. However, a rival, Marine Harvest Scotland, is opening a plant in the spring of 2019, which Skretting estimates will raise UK capacity by more than 50% over market demand, leading to unsustainably low prices.
Skretting said it isn’t planning on stopping production in other EU markets; indeed, the company continues to grow, based on a strategy of matching local aquafeed markets with local production is closely as possible. The principal market, the global farmed salmon sector, is as highly competitive as the feed sector, and experiences production shifts of its own, which feed suppliers must adapt to. “Aquaculture is an increasingly important and attractive solution to meet growing demand for healthy food,” the company’s announcement said, but to ensure sustained profitability “tough decisions” must be made, referring to the impacts on around 100 employees as well as customers and suppliers.
Shrimp farmers in India are facing a double whammy this winter, as buyers in a glutted global market are offering prices that are below farmers’ production costs, and farms ravaged by Cyclone Titli in October now face disease outbreaks.
As reported by Undercurrent and Intrafish, the 2019 forecast for supply from India's shrimp producers is down, with one source estimating supply in the production year ending 31 March 2019, to be 620.000-650.000 tonnes, down from an initial estimate of 700.000 tonnes. This is attributed in part to below-cost prices offered by shrimp buyers in advance of the winter holidays, Easter, and other peak consumption periods, leading farmers to reduce their pond seeding levels. Farmers in some areas are being offered USD 6,50 per kilo, when their costs are as high as USD 7,00 per kilo.
The lower supply forecast is also due to collateral effects of the cyclone, including a series of disease outbreaks hitting shrimp farms especially in the hard-hit eastern Indian State of Odisha, as well as parts of northern Andhra Pradesh, and West and South Bengal. The spread of white spot virus is “very severe” in some areas, adding to the costs from damaged or destroyed farms and roads and other infrastructure. Odisha accounts for only 7% of India’s supply, so national production isn’t heavily affected by the cyclone, but locally the damage is great. On the positive side (for farmers), the forecast supply reduction means processors who must meet seasonal supply contracts with buyers will have to raise their prices offered to farmers.
A new report from the European Commission provides the latest evidence that marine protected areas (MPAs) not only encourage rejuvenation of depleted fish stocks, they can encourage economic activity and new jobs as well. The report, "Economic Benefits of Marine Protected Areas and Spatial Protection Measures", examines ten case studies among the dozens of MPAs that have been created in EU waters. There are numerous examples of business activities in fishing, tourism, passenger shipping, and the blue economy itself, all spurred by, or even dependent upon, the existence of MPAs.
Direct benefits of MPAs on fishing activities include increased abundance of larger, healthier fish, which leads to higher prices. Greater stock abundance reduces fishing costs and improves efficiency. Fish from an MPA can often receive an eco-certification, also leading to higher prices.
Benefits to the tourism sector arise from increased numbers of visitors and their length of stay, as well as extension of the tourism season, all of which mean higher incomes to sectors providing goods and services to tourists. MPAs encourage recreational activities such as SCUBA diving and sport fishing, further adding to local financial benefits.
Between 13-14 November 2018, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and International Organization for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH), in cooperation with the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC), the Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Romanian Ministry of Waters and Forests, the Danube Sturgeon Task Force and the International Association for Danube Research, organize in Bucharest a Regional Conference on river habitat restoration in the Danube Basin and Black Sea area.
The aim of this conference is to contribute to the revival of fish populations, inland and recreational fisheries, food security, and livelihoods of riparian communities. A particular focus will be placed on sturgeons as the flagship species of the Danube River Basin, long distance migratory species currently under recovery, but who still require special protection measures against illegal fishery. To support sturgeon recovery in the Danube River, Romania, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests, restricted the commercial fishery of these valuable species since 2006 for a period of 15 years. The conservation of Danube sturgeons is supported by the European Commission, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and numerous Danube stakeholders implementing the program Sturgeon 2020.
This conference marks the beginning of a closer dialogue between the environmental and fishery/aquaculture authorities from the Danube countries, aiming to reduce the current decline of freshwater fish species and identify constructive solutions for the revival of endangered species and fish populations with high economic value, bringing benefits to the riverine communities along the Danube River. With this occasion, besides discussing urgent measures that need to be implemented, successful examples and good practices applied in other European states will be presented to foster their adaptation at regional level.
Fishery and aquaculture provide valuable food and income resources for approximately 820 million people worldwide, starting with recreational and commercial fishery, and ending with processing, marketing and distribution of different fish products. For many communities, they represent part of the local tradition and cultural identity.
For more information visit danube-conference.eurofish.dk.
The 2nd Global Fishery Forum & Seafood Expo Russia, the Russian fishery sector’s key event, has concluded in St. Petersburg. Leading businesspersons, members of fisheries organizations, heads of sectoral agencies from around the world have assembled at the Forum that has become a crucial venue for discussions in the professional community.
For the second year running, Russian and foreign experts demonstrated their high interest in the Global Fishery Forum. Over 1,100 Forum delegates and over 3,000 exhibitors and Expo visitors attended GFF 2018. Participants from 42 foreign countries came to the Forum from, among other countries, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mauritania, Morocco, Norway, the Republic if Guinea, South Korea, the US. Over 150 Russian and foreign journalists were accredited to the event.
“The Global Fishery Forum has become a truly key event for both the Russian fishery industry and the global sectoral community. I am confident that the Forum’s dialog between members of the authorities, businesses, and fishery experts will make it possible to take the discussion of topical issues in the global fish market to the level of making key decisions in the sector,” said Anton Kobyakov, Russian Presidential Adviser.
Deputy Prime Minister and Fisheries Minister of the Faroe Islands Høgni Hoydal, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of the Kingdom of Morocco Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Fisheries of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Song Chun Sop, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Marine Economy of the Republic of Guinea Fredéric Loua, Deputy Minister of Jihad-e Agriculture and the Head of Iran Fisheries Organization (SHILAT) Hassan Salehi, Deputy Director for Policies in Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Resources of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Audun Lem, Emeritus Scientist at the Pacific Biological Station Dr. Richard Beamish, General Secretary of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Anne Christine Brusendorff, President of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) Suam Kim, President of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) Jóannes Hansen, President of the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association and the European Federation of National Organizations of Importers and Exporters of Fish Guus Pastoor were among the foreign dignitaries attending the Forum.
The FAO, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Romania, EUROFISH, DSTF, and EIFAAC are arranging a conference in Bucharest, Romania on 13-15 November titled Regional Conference on River habitat restoration for inland fisheries in the Danube River basin and adjacent Black Sea areas. The event will hold sessions on valuing inland fisheries resources, conservation and management, regulatory framework, along with shared country experiences from the region. The event will not only attract participants from the involved countries but is also expected to be visited with representatives from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Speakers and programme information is available at danube-conference.eurofish.dk
Fishery enterprises will present united national booths for the first time at the Seafood Expo during the second Global Fishery Forum in September 2018. Companies from Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Turkey, Iran, Morocco, and Mauritius, among other countries, are expected to display their expositions in this format, marking a three-and-a-half fold increase in the number of foreign organizations represented at the Expo compared with last year.
Fishery, fish-breeding, and processing companies, shipbuilding enterprises, manufacturers of equipment and related materials, and traders will make up the main pool of participants at the Expo. They will present the most advanced fish processing equipment as well as shipbuilding components, technologies, and services.
Issues related to the promotion of fish and seafood are expected to generate special attention. The Expo will include a tasting programme, while enterprises from different regions will present their fish products, including new brands and stock keeping units.
More than 300 companies are expected to take part in the event. In addition, the exhibition area will increase this year and cover an area of 13,000 square metres, a 60% increase from last year.
The Global Fishery Forum and Seafood Expo will be held on 13–15 September in St. Petersburg at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.
APROMAR, the Spanish aquaculture producers association, has published the 2018 edition of its annual report on the development of the aquaculture sector in Spain and Europe. The figures are the most current available to date and in addition to the information gathered by the association and its members, information has been used from the European Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), the European Federation of Aquaculture Producers (FEAP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Among its main conclusions, the following stand out:
- The harvest of aquaculture seabass in Spain in 2017 was 21.269 tonnes. The Region of Murcia has led the production with 6.990 tonnes, followed by Canarias (5.900 tonnes), Comunidad Valenciana (4.972 tonnes) Andalucía (3.261 tonnes) and Cataluña (146 tonnes).
- The production of rainbow trout in Spain in 2017 is estimated at 17.984 tonnes. The main producing regions are Castilla y León, Galicia, and Andalucía.
- The harvest of seabream from aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 13.643 tonnes. Comunidad Valenciana has led the production with 5.590 tonnes, followed by Murcia (4.356 tonnes), Canarias (2.063 tonnes), Andalucía (980 tonnes), and Cataluña (654 tonnes).
- The harvest of turbot from aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 8.546 tonnes. Galicia is the main autonomous producer of turbot in Spain (99%); the rest is produced in Cantabria.
- The production of croaker by aquaculture in Spain in 2017 was 1.932 tonnes. The bulk of Spanish croaker production comes from Comunidad Valenciana.
- In 2017, 129.200 tonnes of aquaculture feed were used in Spain. 83,1% of these were administered to marine fish and the remaining 16,9% to freshwater species.
- Employment in aquaculture in Spain in 2016 was 6.534 work-year units, although this figure was distributed among 17.811 people.
- In 2016, a total of 5.105 aquaculture establishments were in operation and producing in Spain. Of these, 4.782 were marine molluscs aquaculture farms, 200 were freshwater fish aquaculture farms, 82 farms were on the coast, beaches, intertidal zones and estuaries, and 41 were nurseries (cages) in the sea.
The report (in Spanish) can be viewed here: