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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Call for fight against illegal fishing
The Norwegian minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Helga Pedersen, has invited the international seafood industry to contribute in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU-fishing).
The call was made at the 16th Groundfish Forum held in Bergen this week.
The Minister focused on how the Norwegian Government - in cooperation with the seafood industry - is meeting some of the current and future challenges.
- Combating criminal fishing activities has been given top priority by the Norwegian Government, and we are pleased to see that the seafood industry is also taking action to stop offending fishing activities. As an example, I recently read that to avoid trade in IUU fish, the European Fish Processors' Association is developing instructions for its members.
- We have managed to eradicate IUU fishing in Norwegian waters. However, overfishing of the same stocks in international waters or in economic zones of other countries makes international cooperation paramount. Therefore, to gain transparency in the fisheries and the landing of fish from this area, Norway has established a close cooperation with EU, Russia and 15 other countries. Futhermore, the agreement on a comprehensive scheme for port state measures in the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commision (NEAFC), has proven to be effective. At the FAO we have initiated a process to devise a legally binding instrument for port state measures that should apply worldwide, Pedersen said.
- The work against IUU-fisheries has already given results.
- From 2005 till 2006 the illegal fishing of cod in the Barents Sea was reduced by more than 20 per cent, while the reduction for haddock was over 50 per cent. Reports from the fishing grounds, and the markets, indicate that the reduction in illegal fishing continues.
- However, the fight against IUU fishing will be a long struggle against greedy interests with only one aim to make a quick profit in the short term.
- We also invite you, the international seafood industry, to contribute to this work. The fight against IUU fishing is dependent on close cooperation between governments and the major companies in the industry, The Norwegian Fisheries Minister said.
The Minister said also that when buying Norwegian seafood you can trust that you are buying products that are healthy, safe and caught or harvested in a sustainable manner.
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