The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 28 April 2015

by Molly Goodman on April 28, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(28APR15)

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Illegal Fishing in Asia

 

(Wall Street Journal)

 

This week’s snapshot will focus on developing actions to stop illegal fishing in Asia after the EU threatened sanctions.

 

 

News Summary of events during the week of 20AP15—26APR15

 

  • 20APR: Chinese vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting Chinese poachers, allowing the latter to leave with their illegal harvest of endangered marine species from the shoal. (The Philippine Star)
  • 21APR: The European Commission formally warned Thailand that it has six months to step up the fight against illegal fishing or risk EU sanctions. (DPA)
  • 22APR: Thai officials said they are rushing to crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing in a bid to avoid the EU’s threat to ban seafood imports from the country. (Associated Press)
  • 23APR: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said he would use Section 44 of the junta’s interim constitution to speed up a clampdown on illegal practices. (AFP)
  • 24APR: The Sri Lankan government reiterated its warning that Indian fishermen who violate Sri Lanka’s maritime border and illegally fish within its waters will be arrested. (Xinhua)
  • 24APRL: New regional agreements are needed to tackle criminal gangs using the world’s oceans for illegal fishing and smuggling, a top Australian maritime officer said, calling the lucrative trade an “imminent threat” to global security. (AFP)
  • 25APR: Cambodia rescued 58 nationals, who were trafficked to work as illegal fishermen in Indonesia (Xinhua)

 

 

Samples of Twitter handles regarding Illegal Fishing in Asia

  • @pmcdowellsea – Wall Street Journal bureau chief for Southeast Asia.
  • @Atomicalandy – British human rights defender and migrant worker specialist.
  • @MariahDBoyle – Marine scientist tackling illegal fishing, human rights, traceability, CSR & sustainable seafood. Project Director at FishWise.
  • @MurrayHiebert1 – Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, CSIS

 

 

Samples of Third Party Validators regarding Illegal Fishing in Asia

 

Steve Trent, Executive Director, Environmental Justice Foundation

“Thai authorities exert very little control over their fishing vessels, with many activities illegally damaging fish stocks and the marine environment.”

– EU Warns Thailand on Illegal Fishing, Clears South Korea, Philippines, Reuters, 21APR15

 

Don Rothwell, Law of the Sea Expert, Australian National University

“Life is very cheap and if someone is injured, they usually go over the side because they’re a burden to the operation.”

– New treaties needed to tackle illegal sea trade: Australian police, AFP, 24APR15

 

Tony Long, Pew Charitable Trusts

“Yellow-carding has been shown to be a strong incentive for states to combat illegal fishing. Commissioner Vella has shown global leadership in implementing the EU’s tough illegal fishing regulation against such a significant fishing state

– EU Threatens Thailand with Seafood Ban Over Illegal Fishing, AP, 21APR15

 

Teddy Kho, Vice President, Century Pacific Food Inc.

“The flexibility to sell into Europe, together with EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus – a trade program which removed tariffs on thousands of Philippine imports to the 28-country bloc, including fish, when the country was admitted last December – is a positive for us and for the industry.”

– EU Puts Thailand On the Hook Over Illegal Fishing, WSJ, 21APR15

 

Phil Robertson, Deputy Director Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

“On long-haul boats, nothing has changed in the brutal working conditions and physical abuse meted out by captains against their crews. The reality is the Thai government’s high-sounding rhetoric to stop human trafficking and clean up the fishing fleets still largely stops at the water’s edge.”

– Overfishing driving slavery on Thailand’s seafood boats, AP, 25FEB15

 

 

Samples of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Illegal Fishing in Asia

 

1. P-Noy seeking united Asean stand on China Beijing: It’s not an Asean issue

 

Media: The Philippine Star

Byline: Aurea Calica

Date: 20 April 2015

 

Local fishermen can no longer enter what used to be their traditional fishing area. The Chinese have been preventing the Filipinos from fishing in the areas since 2012 after a brief standoff between Chinese surveillance vessels and a Philippine Navy ship. The Chinese vessels prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting Chinese poachers, allowing the latter to leave with their illegal harvest of endangered marine species from the shoal.

 

“In the future, we have to help our fishermen go back to their former fishing grounds,” Catapang said.

 

“I think the Coast Guard will have to escort them because if we use the gray ship it will unnecessarily provoke the other side,” he added, referring to naval ships.

 

Continue Reading

 

2. 21APR 15: EU ratchets up sanctions warning for Thailand on illegal fishing

 

Media: Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

Byline: N/A

Date: 21 April 2015

 

Brussels (dpa) – The European Commission formally warned Thailand on Tuesday that it has six months to step up the fight against illegal fishing or risk EU sanctions.

About 15 per cent of world fish catches are thought to be illegal, unreported or unregulated, accounting annually for up to 26 million tons of fish worth 10 billion euros (10.8 billion dollars).

 

Continue Reading

 

3. 22APR15: Thailand rushes to fix illegal fishing after EU ban threat

 

Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 22 April 2015

 

The EU gave Thailand six months to drastically combat illegal and unregulated fishing or face a seafood import ban.

 

Agriculture Minister Petipong Pungbun said Wednesday the ministry was seeking a shortcut to speed up the enforcement of the recently passed law regulating the country’s fishing.

 

Continue Reading

 

4. Thai junta chief vows illegal fishing crackdown

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 23 April 2015

 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who seized power in a coup last May, said he would use Section 44 of the junta’s interim constitution to speed up a clampdown on illegal practices.

 

“The government will swiftly solve problems by invoking Section 44 to authorize the military to assist officials,” he told reporters after returning from a two-day visit to Indonesia.

 

Continue Reading

 

5. Sri Lanka reiterates warning on Indian fishermen

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 24 April 2015

 

The Sri Lankan government on Friday reiterated its warning that Indian fishermen who violate Sri Lanka’s maritime border and illegally fish within its waters will be arrested.

 

Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Mahinda Amaraweera told journalists that the Sri Lankan Navy had been ordered to arrest the Indian fishermen and have their boats confiscated if they stray into local waters.

 

Continue Reading

 

6. New treaties needed to tackle illegal sea trade: Australian police

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 24 April 2015

 

New regional agreements are needed to tackle criminal gangs using the world’s oceans for illegal fishing and smuggling, a top Australian maritime officer said, calling the lucrative trade an “imminent threat” to global security.

 

International syndicates were plying the high seas, illegally fishing for rare species, smuggling drugs, weapons and even body parts with few constraints, according to New South Wales Marine Police Inspector Joe McNulty.

 

Continue Reading

 

7. Cambodia rescues 58 trafficked laborers from fishing boats in Indonesia

 

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 25 April 2015

 

Cambodia has rescued 58 nationals, who were trafficked to work as illegal fishermen in Indonesia, Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

Trafficked fishermen are frequently forced to work for long hours and physically and psychologically abused. They are often unpaid and forced to serve on voyages for months or even years.

 

Continue Reading

 

8. Thai customs make new three-tonne ivory seizure

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 27 April 2015

 

Last week the European Union threatened to ban Thai fish imports unless the kingdom does more to halt illegal fishing.

 

Thailand is the world’s third largest seafood producer and an EU ban could cost it around $1 billion annually.

 

Continue Reading

 

END

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