U.S. and Europe to Fight Pirates Who Steal Fish on the High Seas

Publication: McClatchy Newspapers

Author: Renee Schoof


09/07/2011 - Illegal fishing undermines efforts to stop overfishing and shrinks the profits of legal commercial fishermen, the oceans chiefs of the United States and the European Union declared on Wednesday, as they pledged to cooperate to nab fish pirates.

Although it's a global problem, the U.S. and the European Union declared they have a big responsibility for solving it because they catch and import so much seafood. The EU is the world's top seafood importer, followed by Japan and the U.S.

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The Pew Environment Group, a conservation organization that promotes a global campaign against fish piracy, said on its website that the high seas today are like the Wild West with no sheriff. It said large fishing vessels operated by pirates keep fishing by moving around and changing their vessels' names or flags. Illegal fishing includes failing to report catches, ignoring conservation rules, fishing in closed areas and using banned equipment.

A global fisheries enforcement system is needed, including a global registry of fishing vessels, stricter rules at ports and a system for nations to share information, "essentially an Interpol for the oceans," the group's managing director, Joshua Reichert, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We are committed to assisting these two governments in reversing the tide of illegal fishing, which is significantly damaging many of the world's fisheries and depriving millions of people of basic food security and the ability to earn a livelihood from the sea," Reichert said.

Read the full article, U.S. and Europe to Fight Pirates Who Steal Fish on the High Seas, on The Miami Herald's Web site.

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