Net tightens on IUU toothfish trade

Published on
August 22, 2017

A recent workshop in Singapore hosted by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) focused on promoting cooperation between CCAMLR and nations that trade in toothfish but are not party to the commission.

Because a number of Southeast Asian states trade in toothfish – both Patagonian and Antarctic – CCAMLR has sought their cooperation through the voluntary implemetation of its catch documentation scheme (CDS).

CCAMLR has identified through its CDS and global trade data that several states in Southeast Asia trade in toothfish and has sought the cooperation of these nations through the voluntary implementation of the CDS.

Introduced in 2010, a web-based electronic CDS (e-CDS) tracks toothfish from the area it was caught to the point of landing, and then onwards throughout the trade cycle. The use of e-CDS is mandatory for contracting parties to CCAMLR, though non-contracting parties (NCPs) may also adopt the system on a voluntary basis.

Having the e-CDS implemented by states in Southeast Asia will greatly improve the efficacy of the CDS and enhance the tracking of toothfish globally, said CCAMLR.

The workshop included participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, who had the opportunity to learn about CCAMLR, the CDS, the e-CDS and ways that they could cooperate on fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. They were invited to consider requesting the status of an NCP, thereby cooperating with CCAMLR by monitoring the toothfish trade through limited access to the e-CDS.

The workshop was organized and facilitated by the CCAMLR Secretariat, with support from its members Japan and Australia, and also by Singapore, which is a NCP.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) Senior Manager of Compliance Operations, John Davis, who helped run the workshop said that there was clear understanding from the participants that the administrative burden of cooperating with CCAMLR was minimal.

"They appreciate the significant benefits of this cooperation, including access to higher valued CCAMLR member markets," Davis said. "Participants can also see that recognition for adopting best-practice in fisheries trade, by markets such as the European Union, can lead to higher revenue from the application of appropriate importation taxes."

Elsewhere, the online petition that was calling on retailer Amazon to stop selling Chilean seabass has been taken down by the social enterprise corporation Care2 Petitions.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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