Welcome to Sustainable Fisheries

EU Ministers Set Quotas Too High Once Again

According to conservation groups, European Union fisheries ministers have agreed to raise 2012 fishing quotas by up to 200 percent to help fishing communities. A spokesperson for Oceana commented:"They ignored 41 percent of the scientific recommendations." Oceana claims that  the final deal puts catch limits at more than 20 percent above the maximum level recommended by the European Commission and will destabilize efforts to end decades of overfishing.  More here

Observers of the annual haggles over fish quotas will not be surprised by these short-sighted decisions. Despite all the talk by the Commission about "Reform" of the Common Fisheries Policy, these quotas indicate that the so-called Reform is more "words than action".

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, EU, fish quotas, overfishing

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Fisheries and Oceans bracing for cuts

About 400 Fisheries and Oceans employees across Canada are to receive letters from managers today informing them their jobs will be affected as the department rolls out reductions from last year's strategic review.More than 200 of those receiving notices are biologists and other scientists and the vast majority work outside the capital in areas of ocean management, fish habitat management, hydrography and aquaculture. This is a package of cuts from last year's so-called "strategic review". So the cuts being talked about now by the Harper dictatorship (5-10%) will be on top of the ones mentioned in this article. It appears that they intend to slash DFO's core science program.  Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Fisheries+Oceans+bracing+cuts/5844992/story.html#ixzz1gLY8C3XC

TAGS:sustainable, fisheries, DFO, cuts, Fisheries and Oceans
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Are NL fisheries doomed?

In St. John's this week at the AGM mtg of the Canadian Fisheries Research Network, I have heard disturbing rumours that Ocean Choice International has made a special arrangement with the Spanish to harvest OCI flatfish quotas on the Grand Banks. This rumour is circulating in the context of OCI's decision to close fish processing plants at Marystown and Port Union. If true, this will be the death knell for a large portion of the fishery in NL. It will also violate every tenet of Canadian fisheries policy and the province's fish processing policies. Who is allowing a Canadian company to take a  resource that belongs to the people of Canada and turn it over to Spanish pirates who have raped and pillaged the straddling fish stocks for decades? This is an abuse of everything Canadians fought for when we extended fisheries jurisdiction. Who will stand up and put an end to this outrage????

TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, Newfoundland, Ocean Choice International, Spain, sellout, fisheries treachery, Mayrstown, NAFO,

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Canada a Renegade at ICCAT/Fails to Protect Porbeagles

Following the recent ICCAT meeting Canada's porbeagle fishers get to continue hunting porbeagles despite their endangered status. Porbeagle sharks are considered by the IUCN as critically endangered in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, and endangered in the Northwest Atlantic. The joint ICCAT-ICES assessment of porbeagle sharks in 2009 shows that a rebuilding of the population to MSY would take decades, even if all fisheries and bycatch of porbeagle are banned and fishing mortality is reduced to zero. At a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this month, Canada was the only nation among 48 to defend porbeagle fishing and oppose a ban. Ironically the EU, long a pariah in the Northwest Atlantic for its overfishing of groundfish stocks in the NAFO area, won praise from environmental groups for taking a tough conservation stance on sharks, including porbeagles.


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Spanish overfishing funded by EU subsidies

An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found that billions of euros in subsidies built up Spain's  bloated fleet and propped up a money-losing industry. All the while companies systematically flouted the rules while officials overlooked fraud and continued to fund offenders. Ernesto Penas Lado, director of policy and enforcement at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said that “Spain has earned its bad reputation.” The Spanish fishing industry has received more than €5.8 billion (more than $8 billion) in subsidies since 2000 for everything from building new vessels and breaking down old ships to payments for retiring fishermen and training for the next generation, an unprecedented analysis by ICIJ shows. Subsidies account for almost a third of the value of the industry. Simply put, nearly one in three fish caught on a Spanish hook or raised in a Spanish farm is paid for with public money.
According to the ICIJ investigation, the subsidized Spanish fleet has cultivated an extensive record of flouting the rules while officials overlook fraud and continue to dole out aid to vessels that break the law.More than 80 percent of subsidized fishing companies that were fined in Spain for fishing infractions – and then lost subsequent court appeals – continued to receive subsidies. One Spanish shipowner received more than €8.2 million in subsidies even while his company or its affiliates faced more than 40 accusations of illegal fishing and US$5 million in fines. More here 
This leads to the question: Why is the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans continuing to play footsie with these "bad boys" of Europe, bending over backwards to cooperate with them in NAFO, which has become thoroughly discredited, and sending high level officials to Spain, e.g. ADM Science, to pretend all is well? Is it because the Harper government is so committed to a Canada-EU trade deal that it is prepared to sell out conservation and Canadian fishing interests?
 
TAGS: sustainable, fisheries, sustain, fish, Spain, fishing pirates, illegal fishing, EU subsidies
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