6 nations accused of fishing violations
4 days ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government said Tuesday that a half-dozen foreign nations are engaging in illegal or unregulated TUNA fishing.
Officials said they plan consultations with France, Italy, Libya, Panama, China and Tunisia
in hopes of getting those countries to take corrective action.
"Illegal fishing is a global problem that is depleting fish stocks and hurting the economies of nations and the livelihoods of people who depend on sustainable fishing,"
said Dr. Jim Balsiger, acting assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service."
It is the first time NOAA has reported specific countries as engaged in such fishing. After consultations, the agency will either certify that a country has taken corrective action, or list it as still engaging in illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing, in which case that nation's vessels may be denied entry into U.S. ports and the president may prohibit imports of certain fish products from that nation.
According to NOAA's report, in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, fishing vessels of identified nations were using illegal fishing gear, fishing during a closed season or not complying with reporting requirements. In the Pacific Ocean, it said, vessels violated an international rule requiring any ship fishing for tuna in the eastern Pacific be listed by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, which manages tuna stocks in that area.
On the Net:
NOAA Fisheries report: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/msa2007/intlprovisions.html
This is the first step the US must take under international law to ban imports or set a moratorium on imports of Tuna by a foreign country. It was initiated at the request of the US ICCAT commissioners.