Japan has launched a new whaling expedition in Antarctica, with the Japanese Government calling it scientific research. The fleet is now on its way to conduct the expedition in the Antarctic Ocean through March. The ships plan to catch 333 minke whales in the country’s fourth such whaling expedition since their resumption in 2015, according to the government.
Despite the fact that fishing is one of the world’s most dangerous professions, many people depend on this industry for their livelihoods, and especially women who often face difficult conditions. For this reason, IMO focused on providing equal opportunities for the women in the sector, during the first International Conference of Women in Fisheries.
US Coast Guard law enforcement crews interdicted two Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in US waters off southern Texas, on 3 November. USCG stopped a lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. 62 red snapper totaling 212 pounds were seized. A second lancha with five Mexican fishermen were stopped with 126 red snapper weighing 176 pounds.
UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the fatal overboard incident from the fishing vessel ‘North Star’, after a crewman had his leg entangled in the fishing gear and was dragged overboard. The investigation found that the vessel’s documented risk controls did not reflect the operational practice onboard, and that the crew underestimated the risks associated with a crewman becoming entangled in the back rope.
IMO has collaborated with the NGO ‘Pew Charitable Trust’, to organise a series of seminars for government officials and industry representatives in key developing countries, to raise awareness of the Cape Town Agreement and the benefits of ratifying it. The Cape Town Agreement addresses fishing vessel safety.
The UK government issued a White Paper over the summer charting the government’s course for sustainably managing fisheries after Brexit and launched the Fisheries Bill on 25 October. Responding to the Bill, Mark Simmonds from the British Ports Association noted that Brexit is an unprecedented opportunity to take a fresh look at how UK communities benefit from this valuable resource.
US Coast Guard law enforcement crews of Corpus Christi, Texas has detected and interdicted two Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas. A lancha is a Mexican fishing boat approximately 20-30 feet long with a slender profile.
A US court ruled that NOAA Fisheries illegally withdrew a proposed rule that would have established limits on bycatch of protected species caught in California’s swordfish drift gillnet fishery. The decision does not immediately imposes the caps, but requires NOAA Fisheries to either revive the regulations or come up with any potential revisions.
With the departure of the M/Y Bob Barker from Port Gentil, Sea Shepherd announced conclusion of its Operation Albacore III, intended to protect Gabon’s sovereign waters from illegal fishing activities in cooperation with Gabonese Navy (Marine Nationale) and inspectors with the Gabonese fisheries enforcement agency (ANPA).
The Environmental Justice Foundation published the ‘ten principles for global transparency in the fishing industry’. These principles aims to tackle illegal fishing and protect human rights in the industry. The ten principles are simple, low-cost measures, which include publishing licence lists and giving vessels unique numbers.
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