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Brussels Rural Development Briefings Briefing session n°10: Fighting against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU): Impacts and challenges for ACP countries 29th April, BrusselsThe role of an ACP regional organisation in fighting IUU fishing: CRFMprepared by Terrence PhillipsCRFM Secretariat
Outline • Map of the Caribbean • Importance of the fisheries sector in the CARIFORUM/CARICOM Region • Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) • Current IUU fishing issues • EC regulation and the challenges for its implementation • Main elements of the MCS strategy • Role of the CRFM in fighting IUU fishing • Conclusion
Fisheries sector - in the CARICOM/CARIFORUM region • Employs over 182,000 persons, directly or indirectly, who are mainly from small scale fisheries in rural communities which lack other income earning opportunities. • Produced approximately 195,000 MT, with an estimated value of over US$500 million (2000). • Earns over US $150 million per year from export. • Is a major source of protein , especially in rural communities.
Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Inaugurated: 26 March 2003 in Belize (HQ). Eastern Caribbean Office – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Members: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Mission: to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region’s fisheries and other aquatic resources for the economic and social benefits of the current and future population of the region. Objectives: - the efficient management and sustainable development of marine and other aquatic resources within the jurisdiction of Member States - the promotion and establishment of cooperative arrangements among interested States for the efficient management of shared, straddling or highly migratory marine and other aquatic resources - the provision of technical advisory and consultative services to fisheries divisions of Member States in the development, management and conservation of their marine and other aquatic resources.
Current IUU fishing issues • Full extent of IUU fishing in the CARICOM/CARIFORUM region is not quantified. • Poaching is a significant problem in countries with high value species such as conch and lobster stocks in Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas; shrimp in Guyana and Suriname; and tunas in the Eastern Caribbean Islands. • Throughout the region, the capability for MCS is inadequate to ensure compliance with existing legislation and regulations. • Non-compliance by national and foreign fishers with the conditions of their licenses. • Inadequate capacity of flag states to effectively monitor flagged vessels operating on the high seas. • Insufficient awareness among stakeholders and the public at large about the negative effects of IUU fishing. • Inadequate regional cooperation and coordination in MCS operations.
The EC regulation and the challenges for its implementation The catch certification system • Will apply to the EU countries in Europe as well as territories in the Caribbean, including Martinique and Guadeloupe which are particularly important markets for some of the OECS states. • Will apply to all fish imports regardless of the way they enter the EU market whether it be from landings in ports, air cargo, sea container, trucks or other means. • As a minimum, the flag state will have to have in place a mandatory system comprised of (i) procedures for registration of fishing vessels; (ii) procedures for licensing of the vessels to permit them to catch the fish they intend to export; and (iii) procedures for monitoring and obtaining catch information from the vessels. • Member States that already have SPS systems and are exporting to the EU will have a capability in place from which to build the administration of the certification system. • In some cases, SPS systems are not within the fisheries departments, for example, where the veterinary services are the competent authorities, so it is unlikely that they would assume responsibility for this catch certification. • Capability might then have to reside either in the fisheries departments, maritime authorities, coast guards or marine police.
The EC regulation and the challenges for its implementation cont’d • Will require the implementation of appropriate legislative and administrative measures to ensure compliance. • Will have to establish the necessary administrative capability to monitor and control the operations of their fishing vessels; and implement effective fisheries management measures such as fishing authorisations and data collection systems. • Will need to assess their internal systems and capability to identify gaps and specific actions that might be needed to meet the new EC requirements. • Will require redeployment of human and financial resources to establish the required system, including preparing legislation and procedural documents in cases where they are not already in place; train staff of the competent (certifying) authority and fishermen; and strengthen the logistical system for licensing and registration, and MCS.
Main elements of the MCS strategy The strategy for effective MCS at the national and regional levels would entail a two-pronged approach: • Preventive approach to encourage voluntary compliance through a process of education and awareness to obtain support for fisheries management strategies and efforts to combat IUU fishing. • Deterrent/enforcement approach to ensure compliance by fishers and other stakeholders who resist the regulatory regime. The main elements of the Strategy for enhancing the effectiveness of MCS would include: • Implementation of international instruments, including the IPOA –IUU. • Development and implementation of national plans of action (NPOAs). • Establishment or strengthening of regional databases and other information systems. • Strengthening regional fisheries bodies and improving their effectiveness. • Flag states cooperating with other states through information exchange and other means to ensure compliance.
Role of the CRFM in fighting IUU fishing The role of the CRFM in combating IUU Fishing should include the following: • Encourage ratification, accession, acceptance or adoption, where necessary, of the relevant international instruments for fisheries management and compliance. • Promote the development of NPOAs to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. • Promote improved and harmonized fisheries legislation throughout the region. • Promote development of MOUs or other mechanisms to share information, surveillance and enforcement resources among neighbouring states in order to improve surveillance and enforcement. • Promote the establishment or strengthening of regional databases and other information systems, including data/information on fishing vessels, catch, effort, etc.
Role of the CRFM in fighting IUU fishing cont’d • Promote collaboration and coordination among states, and in particular, regional cooperation on port state control. • Develop a network of national VMS systems to track vessels authorized to fish in the EEZs and on the high seas. • Strengthen national and regional institutional capacity and infrastructure through the assistance of international agencies and organizations. • Promote the implementation of internationally agreed market measures.
Conclusion The similarity in the socio-economic importance of fishing to each Member State in providing food supply, employment and hard currency requires that the fisheries resources must be managed in a manner to ensure sustainability. IUU fishing is a threat that will undoubtedly affect CARIFORUM/CARICOM States because it is a significant obstacle to sound management of the fishing industry. The responses should be through cooperative and coordinated measures. The CRFM is well placed to promote fisheries management, including the implementation of strategies to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. To this effect, the CRFM Member State are in the process of elaborating a Common Fisheries Policy and finalising a Draft Declaration on IUU Fishing. At present, the existing MCS and enforcement functions are not as effective as required due to severe human and financial resource constraints within the region’s fisheries administrations. With the advent of the EC regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, this situation will be compounded for those Member States exporting to or intending to export fish and fish products to the EU. As such, the EU needs to take into account the capacity constraints facing developing countries and regional fisheries bodies and be prepared to provide technical assistance and training to such countries and bodies to facilitate the implementation of the catch certification scheme.