A six-country group backed by three environmental watchdogs unveiled a plan for cracking down on illegal fishing, an activity estimated to bring in up to nine billion dollars a year.irtish governemnt news release on the group here:
The package was approved by fisheries ministers from Australia, Britain, Canada, Chile, Namibia and New Zealand, with the support of the WWF, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Earth Institute.
They said they would beef up monitoring of suspected rogue trawlers, urge tougher policing of these ships by states which give them a flag and home port, and lobby countries to uphold international accords on fishing.
Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw said:Greenpeace points to Europe as a major source of a fishing problem here:
"It is vitally important that the international community tackles the serious problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. We must have united action to help stop the destruction of fish stocks and marine habitats.
"IUU fishing is one of the main obstacles to achieving sustainable world fisheries. It leads to the serious depletion of the world's fish stocks and also affects dramatically the economies of developing countries. By working together we can conserve fish and give developing countries a chance to develop their own sustainable fishing industry."
Gareth Thomas, Minister for International Development said:
"Pirate fishermen are freeloaders who are robbing some of the poorest people in the world of their livelihoods. Countries such as Somalia and Sierra Leone are each losing over US$100 million a year from illegal fishing. That is money that could help fund medical centres, schools, clean water or new jobs. We are here today to turn recommendations into action and help put these criminals out of business for good.
A GREENPEACE report published yesterday (Friday) warned that European governments are turning a blind eye to the daily destruction of deep-sea marine life by unregulated 'pirate' fishing vessels flying European flags.
The report "Murky Waters: hauling in the net on Europe's high seas bottom trawling fleet" documents the destructive activities of high seas bottom trawlers observed fishing in the North Atlantic by Greenpeace in 2004 and 2005. All of the vessels observed were either owned by European nationals or fly the flags of European states.