Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing for short) is one of the greatest threats to the sustainability of fishing, marine ecosystems, marine biodiversity, and human food security. Although international bodies and the UN regard illegal fishing as an environmental crime and the European Union has adopted a regulation to combat IUU fishing the problem has not been fully resolved because there are still gaps and loopholes.
Illegal, undocumented and unregulated fishing, also known as pirate fishing, has many facets. In deep-sea fishing, it is understood to mean all types of commercial fishing carried out without the necessary licence, in which the fishing quota authorised under the fishing licence is exceeded, or in which the quantities caught are not, not completely or incorrectly documented. However, it is also considered to be IUU fishing if a fishing vessel fishes in territorial waters of other nations without permission, or if it violates the fishing laws of that country, for example by ignoring fishing times and protected areas. The territorial waters of some West African countries, for example, are among the preferred fishing areas for pirate fishing. In none of these countries is there a strong fisheries control authority, so that the pirate vessels are not in much danger of being caught.
March / April 2018 EM 2
Country profile: Poland, Lithuania
Fisheries: IIUU fishing torpedoes sustainable fisheries management - When licensed fishing and adherence to quotas is penalized
Aquaculture: Insurance – Is it worth it? Coverage of operational risks linked to strict conditions
Events: Preview of the SEG show in Brussels
Even though fishing activities have been monitored for selected fleets using electronic vessel monitoring systems, logbooks, and onboard observers, these efforts only provide very limited evidence of a region’s fishing patterns. A new study published by Science Magazine has made use of global satellite-based observations along with artificial intelligence to train and analyse the 22 billion messages publicly broadcast from marine vessels’ automatic identification system (AIS) from 2012 to 2016. The particularity of movements relating to fishing have led to the identification of more than 70,000 fishing vessels ranging from 6 to 146 m in length, with a 95% accuracy. The movements of these commercial fishing vessels have been tracked hourly and reveal a global ‘heat map’ that covers more than 55% of the ocean’s surface or over four times the area covered by agriculture.
Although the data set includes only a limited proportion of the world’s estimated 2.9 million motorized fishing vessels, it encompasses most of the larger vessels exceeding 24m in length and is estimated to account for between 50 to 70% of the total high seas fishing.
Over the course of 2016, the data set captured 40 million hours of fishing activity by these vessels covering a combined distance of more than 460 million km, the equivalent of traveling to the moon and back 600 times, and consuming 19 billion kWh of energy.
Italy is the world’s fourth largest producer of anchovy with 37,511 tonnes caught in 2015 according to the latest EUMOFA Case Study: Processed Anchovy in Italy. Italian anchovy is consumed fresh or processed as salted anchovy, anchovy in oil, or marinated anchovy. This case study, published in February, focuses on salted anchovy and anchovy in oil. Italian anchovy production is broken into two types; Small-scale production marketed regionally and industrial scale production, based partly on imports from countries like Albania, Morocco, and Tunisia, of which circa three fourths is sold within Italy and the rest is exported. In 2015 imports of anchovy reached a little over 26,000 tonnes while about 20,000 tonnes were exported and some 44,000 tonnes were consumed in Italy. For one kilogram of processed anchovy (preserved in oil or salted) between 1,9 and 2,3 kg of fresh anchovy is needed due to losses during the different production stages. Fish accounts for 9% to 20% of the cost of the final product to consumers which ranges from EUR28/kg to EUR53/kg for small-scale production of anchovy preserved in olive oil in the Ligurian area. Labour costs account for 14%-16% while distribution costs account for the largest share (between 28% and 53%) of the final consumer price. More detailed information is available online at www.eumofa.eu/eumofa-publications.
According to a new report, Brexit can cost Danish jobs and have large consequences for a number of Danish fishing ports. The report, which focused on Danish fisheries and Brexit, was commissioned by the Danish Government and produced by Aalborg University. The report estimates that fish worth DKK1bn (EUR134m) and between 272 and 844 Danish jobs are at risk if the British government excludes Danish fishermen from fishing in British waters. It is the first concrete estimate on the number of jobs at stake for Danish fishing in the negotiations on Brexit. The report bases its calculations on two scenarios, both of which imply that foreign fishermen are excluded from British waters. This will especially affect Skagen, Thyborøn, Hirtshals and Hanstholm, where Denmark’s largest fishing port is located. Søren Qvist Eliasen, lead author of the report, says Brexit will have a huge impact on these communities if it happens at once. On the other hand, he says these communities are highly dynamic and used to the fact that fishery resources fluctuate, and therefore “they are actually quite flexible.”
At the fish factory TripleNine in Thyborøn, fish from the British part of the North Sea is a major raw material in the production of fishmeal. The managing director of TripleNine’s department in Denmark, Peter Jensen says he is not thinking about it, but admits to being worried about the final outcome. The company has 140 employees in Esbjerg and Thyborøn and is owned by Danish fishermen. Last year TripleNine landed a profit of more than 100 million. Mr Jensen explains that a large reduction in the raw material will mean scaling down the factory with a concomitant loss of jobs. In total, a quarter of Danish fishermen catch in the British part of the North Sea. According to the report, there are 35 large Danish vessels fishing mainly for mackerel, herring, sandeel and sperling. They are able to do this because EU rules allow fishermen to fish their quota in all EU waters, a facility that the British government has said that it may want to close. Michael Gove, UK Fisheries Minister, told the BBC in an interview that Britain wanted to control and determine the conditions for access. “When we leave the EU, we become an independent coastal state, which means we can extend the control of our waters for up to 200 miles.” Karen Ellemann, Danish Fisheries Minister is preparing to negotiate fisheries with the other EU countries and Britain in the coming year. According to her, a hard Brexit that closes British waters to the EU will have major financial consequences for Danish fishing. Karen Ellemann hopes that the EU can reach an agreement with Britain such as it has with Norway giving it access to fishing in the British North Sea in the future.
New EU rules on how, where and when fish can be caught, were enacted by the European Parliament (EP). Key highlights are an EU-wide ban on the use of electric pulse fishing, simpler rules on fishing gear and minimum size of fish, more regional flexibility for fishermen, but also limits on catches of vulnerable stocks and juvenile fish. The new law, which updates and combines more than 30 regulations, also allows tailor-made measures that cater to the regional needs of each sea basin. During the vote on existing technical measures in fisheries, the EP adopted an amendment of importance to Croatian fisheries – the amendment to strike a Mediterranean Regulation provision which prevented the use of purse seines at depths less than 70% of their height, which did not suit Croatian fishermen and nearly stopped such fishing since Croatia’s accession to the EU in 2013. An amendment calling for a total ban on the use of electric current for fishing (e.g. to drive fish up out of the seabed and into the net) was passed by 402 votes to 232, with 40 abstentions. The EU rules, designed to progressively reduce juvenile catches, would prohibit some fishing gear and methods, impose general restrictions on the use of towed gear and static nets, restrict catches of marine mammals, seabirds and marine reptiles, include special provisions to protect sensitive habitats, and ban practices such as “high-grading” (discarding low-priced fish even though they should legally be landed) in order to reduce discarding.
January / February 2018 EM 1
Country profile: Italy, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Fisheries: Invasive animal and plant species threaten Europe’s biodiversity and Need for better use of low-value fi sh and trash fish
Trade and Markets: Eurofish study on fish consumption in Croatia
Events: New opportunities for value creation, International coldwater prawn forum 2017 (ICWPF), and International Conference on Fisheries and Blue Growth
Elimination of tariffs, quotas to benefit EU exporters
Combined, the EU and Japan have 9 percent of the world’s population, 28 percent of its GDP and 36 percent of its trade. Billions of euros’ worth of goods and services are traded between the two economies; hundreds of thousands of jobs are directly supported by this trade, and many more hundreds of thousands have been created by investment by the EU and Japan in each other’s economies. In seafood alone, two-way trade reached a record EUR395 million in 2016. Combined, the EU and Japan together account for over one-third of global seafood trade.
A number of institutions are involved in deciding how much fish can be harvested from the sea
Fishing quotas have an immediate impact on the players in the fisheries sector and the release of the numbers is closely watched by all concerned. The route by which raw data is converted into the precise figures that are published as fishing quotas is long, with inputs from several institutions, and gives an idea of the enormous significance attached to these numbers.
Fish, individually or in swarms, can usually be found in places offering them the best for their lives: where they find food, where it is safe to reproduce and survive as species. Such preferences, together with environmental conditions, may vary from year to year, and hence the number of fish coming together may vary as well. Fishermen know where to find the fish and are familiar with annual fluctuations. Fishing grounds, when seen as fish habitats, do not feature national borders, whereas fishing vessels carry the flags of their home ports. Fish stocks which are international by nature thus have national owners when turned into catches. The subsets of these fishable stocks allocated to and harvested by sovereign states are called fishing quotas.
The 2017 December issue celebrates 20 years of the Eurofish Magazine. This issue looks at fisheries and aquaculture headlines over the last two decades and shows some of the people working behind the scenes.
The issue also features Romania, as the main country profile and contains pieces on Latvia and Russia.
The species section focuses on Europe’s carp farming and its needs for new marketing ideas. Under the Trade and Markets section we look at the implementation of the new EU-Canada trade agreement and how the deal will effect consumer prices and boost trade.