Physically Protecting Fisheries & Endangered Marine Life with Public & Private Cooperation

Enlargeable banner logo of Space and Ocean Exploration by Danny Quintana and the Global High Seas Marine Preserve.Once bans and laws have been put in place restricting certain types of fishing or harvesting of marine life, the job then becomes how to enforce those regulations because people will attempt to subvert the law for various reasons. Danny Quintana was well aware of this dynamic when crafting the central premise of the Global High Seas Marine Preserve, which is to ban all industrial or destructive harvesting of marine life throughout the world.

That is why a whole chapter in his book, Space & Exploration: The Alternative to the Military-Industrial Complex, which gave rise to the GHSMP non-profit organization, he devoted a chapter to fashioning a new set for missions for the United States Navy to play in ocean research helping the save the oceans through fishing enforcement.  Their ability to interface with other national navies around the world would give the industrial fishing ban movement the strong arm it needs to succeed.  

Click Here to see the page New Mission for U.S. Navy in Ocean Research & Enforcing High Seas Industrial Fishing Ban for more info.

Below is an article from the World Wildlife Fund on fishery enforcement and below that is a video, from Pew Charitable Trust’s You Tube Channel, on training personnel in handling violators of fishing laws in island nations in the South Pacific such as Palau, with the world’s first declared shark sanctuary in the world, the Marshall Islands and Honduras in Central America.  Palau has about 136 species of shark that live around or move through the islands during migration periods. 

Fishing Problems: Poor Fisheries Management

Management oversight, government regulations, traceability of fishing activities on the seas are a relatively recent development. But while some countries are now making a huge effort to stem overfishing, much more needs to be done.

Viarsa 1 , an illegal fishing vessel, under chase in heavy seas by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

A host of problems

In many cases, fisheries rules, regulations and enforcement measures are not efficient; fishing capacity and efforts are not sufficiently limited or controlled. Another important issue is that today´s fishing activities often occur far from the eye of regulators and consumers.

Inadequate fisheries regulations: In many fisheries, current rules and regulations are not strong enough to limit fishing capacity to a sustainable level. This is particularly the case for the high seas, where there are few international fishing regulations.

Lack of implementation/enforcement: Even when fisheries regulations exist, they are not always implemented or enforced. For example, many countries have still not ratified, implemented, or enforced international regulations such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement. Lack of political will is also responsible for failures to adopt bycatch reduction devices, for example.

Lack of transparency and traceability: Customs agencies and also retailers are not always ensuring that the fish entering their country and shops is caught legally and in a sustainable way. As a result, consumers are unwittingly supporting poor management by purchasing fish from unsustainable fisheries. Only when our seafood is traceable can markets and legal systems be effective and reward sustainable practices, whilst deter the irresponsible.

Failure to follow scientific advice: Many fisheries management bodies do not heed scientific advice on fish quotas and set catch limits above the recommended maximum amount; this is the case for Atlantic cod and tuna, for example.

Flag of Convenience vessels: Countries are either failing to restrict fishing companies from owning and operating FoC vessels, or are not rigorously inspecting FoC vessels landing at their ports. This include countries with some of the biggest fishing fleets such as the EU, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (China). This allows illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to continue.

Too few no-go areas for fishing: Protected areas and no-take zones, where fishing is banned or strictly regulated, can provide essential safe havens where young fish can grow to maturity and reproduce before they are caught. But just 1.2% of the world’s oceans have been declared as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and 90% of existing MPAs are open to fishing. The current lack of protection is especially worrying for fish spawning grounds and the deep sea, both of which are particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

How You Can Help!

Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC-Ecolabel from Marine Stewardship Council Buy sustainable seafood. By purchasing MSC-certified seafood products, consumers, retailers, and traders are helping to encourage and reward responsible fisheries. Without the MSC label, your seafood may well stem from illegally fished or overfished sources. Take a look at our seafood guides!

Pew Charitable TrustsAt shark sanctuaries around the world, law enforcement can seem like a daunting task. But in places including the Marshall Islands, Honduras, and Palau, officials have proved that they do enforce sanctuary laws, and that their countries can benefit from strong shark protections.

In recent years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has worked with eight countries and territories to establish shark sanctuaries, implementing policies that ban commercial fishing of sharks and possession of fishing gear used to target them.

To learn more, visit http://www.pewenvironment.org/sharks