In regulator-speak, this portion of the fish trade is dubbed IUU: Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated. IUU fish can include everything from a striped bass that local fishermen offload to friends after they catch more fish than quotas allow to a live lobster that comes in at less than one-eighth of an inch below regulation. But by far the biggest IUU problem is the many tons of international fish that pass through multiple foreign ports and are intentionally mislabeled to fetch a higher sales price or avoid detection as an overfished commodity. The former is an issue that exists at the species level: It’s likely that haddock filet you bought for dinner isn’t haddock at all.
Posts tagged fishing
Despite its status as the largest invertebrate on the planet, no one had ever seen, much less photographed, a live giant squid in its habitat until 2004. On September 30, at precisely 9:15 A.M., near Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, a 26-foot-long giant squid attacked a baitline that Dr. Tsunemi Kubodera and his research team had rigged with a strobe and a digital camera, timed to snap an image every 30 seconds. Within days, cephalogeeks all over the Web were posting links to astonishing photographs of the animal vrooming up out of the deep and grabbing the bait “in much the same way that pythons rapidly envelop their prey within [their] coils…immediately after striking,” as the researchers put it.
A group of 23 impoverished west African fishing communities has driven off a fleet of illegal, unreported and unregulated “pirate” trawlers by filming and reporting them when they are found in their waters. In the 18 months since the London-based Environment Justice Foundation (EJF) raised the £50,000 needed to buy and equip a small seven-metre community surveillance boat for villages in the Sherbro river area of Sierra Leone, local fishers have filmed and identified 10 international trawlers working illegally in their protected waters and have made 252 separate reports of illegal fishing. Images of the pirate ships and their GPS positions are analysed to establish the identity of the vessels and the evidence is passed on to European Union (EU) and African governments, fishing ports and other communities. Nine of the 10 ships identified by the Sierra Leonean communities were found to have licences to export their catches to Europe.
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