EJF IUU South Korea MOU

Environmental Justice Fondation et le Gouvernement de Corée du SUd ont signé un Memorendum of Understanding pour lutter contre la pêche INN en juin 2014. Article source : undercurrent News :

Le communiqué de presse d'EJF est ici :

June 26, 2014, 6:19 pm

EJF and the Republic of Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) formalizing a joint initiative to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

 The MOU, signed on June 17, 2014 in Seoul, is a positive step towards effective measures to curb IUU fishing activities which are detrimental to marine biodiversity, and the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities, said EJF, in a press release.

This initiative to collaborate on the eradication of IUU fishing follows EJF’s documentation of a high number of Korean-flagged vessels operating illegally in West Africa since 2010, particularly in Sierra Leone where EJF operates a community surveillance project to report IUU fishing activities in the inshore areas reserved for local fishers.

Global losses due to IUU fishing are estimated to be between $10 billion and $23.5bn per year. By depleting fish stocks, IUU fishing severely compromises the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable coastal communities dependent on fish as their main source of protein and income.

West Africa has been particularly susceptible to IUU fishing due to a combination of poor flag State performance, a lack of effective port controls, weak monitoring of fishing by coastal States, and the lack of an effective Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) for many fisheries, says EJF.

West Africa’s fish stocks are at grave risk, with 48% of its assessed stocks fished at biologically unsustainable levels, and over a third of catches estimated to come from illegal fishing activities, it claims.

In recent months, the Republic of Korea has been strengthening its monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) capacity and reinforcing sanctions against IUU fishing activities.

The Fisheries Monitoring Centre commenced its operation on a trial basis on March 28, 2014 and began its full operation on May 23, 2014. Now 100% of Korean-flagged fishing vessels have vessel monitoring systems.

The Republic of Korea’s Distant-Water Fisheries Development Act is also being re-amended to ensure that operators are not able to avoid sanctions for illegal fishing offences.

The MOU between EJF and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries will help to support the Republic of Korea’s new initiatives to combat IUU, with a special focus on introducing new, effective mechanisms for vessel monitoring and other key flag state obligations, said EJF.

The MOU promotes information-sharing on the activities of Korean-flagged vessels operating in West Africa to ensure the effective monitoring of vessels through the establishment of a hotline.

It also lays the groundwork for the creation of a joint surveillance program and contains transparency and anti-corruption measures to ensure that illegal operators cannot operate under the radar.

Through sharing information and combining data from the VMS, EJF’s existing community surveillance project and other remote-sensing technologies; EJF and the Republic of Korea are working together to ensure IUU activities will soon be nearly impossible for Korean-flagged vessels, said EJF.