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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Pew releases IUU fishing info
The Pew Environment Group's Port State Performance research report on the Group's new website refers to five years of global port movement data on poaching vessels and evaluates port State performance in combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
From January 2004 to March 2009, 176 vessels were on IUU vessel lists maintained by four tuna and four high seas Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). Port State Performance is investigating where each vessel went while on an IUU vessel list.
Port States with four or more reported vessel movements by IUU-listed vessels are profiled in the Country Profile section of the website. Each country profile includes information concerning RFMO memberships, ratification of international treaties, discussion of the country specific findings and correspondence with the port State. This section also includes a detailed list of all port visits by IUU-listed vessels.
The vessels profiled are case studies of three types of vessel movement behaviour Port State Performance has observed. The first group are vessels regularly picked up and penalised by port authorities, eventually forcing them to stop their illegal business. However, Pew say that others manage to escape penalties by moving out of the convention area where they were listed, these vessels make up the second group. The third group is made up of vessels that are entirely unaffected by port State measures.
The group found that that visibility of IUU-listed vessels is rather limited: two-thirds of the 176 IUU-listed vessels showed no movement; however, recordings of reefers are much better than recordings of fishing vessels. Of the 55 vessels that showed movement during their IUU-listing period, 45 (82 per cent) were fishing vessels and eight (15 per cent) were reefers; however, reefers made 243 of the 419 recorded port visits (58 per cent).
Visibility of vessels listed by different RFMOs varied considerably. For example, while only 8 per cent of vessels listed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (IATTC) were recorded by at least one of the movement databases, there were recordings of movements of 81 per cent of vessels on the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission's (NEAFC) IUU vessel lists. For vessels without International Maritime Organisation (IMO) numbers, no movements could be identified.
The research found that significant gaps in documenting and communicating data were a major reason for the invisibility of vessels. With information on the IUU vessel lists provided only by the RFMOs, inspectors and port authorities have few means to identify IUU listed vessels. Of the 176 vessels that appear on one or more of the IUU vessel lists, only 69 vessels (39 per cent) are listed with the right IMO number. The quality of IUU vessel lists differs significantly among RFMOs.
With these kind of gaps in data from the RFMOs, providing complete information on IUU vessels is a difficult task, the report pointed out.
Both the combined IUU vessel list and the vessel movements file are available for download on the Group's website.
click to view source website
Issues/Port state issues