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 user 2006-05-22 at 9:56:00 am Views: 46
  • #15501

    Deep-sea fish stocks ‘plundered’
    Fish stocks in international waters are being plundered to the point of extinction, a leading conservationist group has said.Illegal fishing and bottom-trawling in deep waters are to blame, according to a report from WWF.
    says the current system of regional fishing regulation is failing to
    tackle the problem, with not enough being done to enforce quotas or
    replenish stocks.It says species under severe threat include tuna and
    the orange roughy.
    The orange roughy is targeted by bottom-trawlers,
    which drag heavy rollers over the ocean floor, destroying coral and
    other ecosystems.”Given the perilous overall state of marine fisheries
    resources and the continuing threats posed to the marine environment
    from over-fishing and damaging fishing activity, the need for action is
    immediate,” Simon Cripps, director of WWF’s global marine programme,
    said.Illegal fishing “by highly mobile fleets under the control of
    multinational companies” was identified as one of the worst threats to
    marine life.But the report also attacked governments for over
    fishing.”Vast over-capacity in authorised fleets, over-fishing of
    stocks… the virtual absence of robust rebuilding strategies… and a
    lack of precaution where information is lacking or uncertain are all
    characteristic of the management regimes currently in place,” it said.

    No enforcement
    report was released ahead of a New York meeting on the United Nations
    Fish Stocks Agreement, the legal framework for the management of fish
    stocks on the high seas, next week.BBC science reporter Matt McGrath
    says that on the high seas – away from the protection of national
    quotas – fish stocks are at their most vulnerable.It’s got to stop,
    we’ve got to do it quickly. There is hope, if we can get management put
    in place Simon CrippsWWF global marine programme

    ‘Ban destructive fishing’
    regulation of fishing in these international waters is the
    responsibility of regional fishing management organisations – made up
    of countries with a vested interest in the area.
    According to WWF, most are failing to manage fish stocks in a sustainable way.
    is poor, it says, and the regional organisations are powerless to
    control the activities of countries who ignore regulations.This backs
    up the conclusions of an analysis last year from the conservation group
    BirdLife International, which concluded that a majority of the regional
    fisheries organisations are failing to take their responsibilities
    seriously.The authors are calling on the United Nations to review
    fishing on the high seas and strengthen the resolve of regional
    authorities to deal with states that flout agreements.”It’s got to
    stop, we’ve got to do it quickly,” Mr Cripps said. “There is hope, if
    we can get management put in place.”