This photo released by the Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office shows hundreds of shark fins seized by the police in Manta, Ecuador, on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Interior, the police seized about 200,000 shark fins that were to be illegally exported to Asia. (Photo: Office of the Attorney General of the State of Ecuador / AP)
Illegal fishing degrades the environment
January 22, 2021
All over the world, unreported and unregulated illegal fishing (IUU fishing) not only destroys local economies, but also the environment.
“IUU and unsustainable fishing affect us right here in the Western Hemisphere,” Jon Piechowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said on 9 October. economic, undermines the sovereignty of coastal states, degrades the environment and weakens the global rule-based order. ”
IUU and unsustainable fishing affect us right here in the Western Hemisphere, ”Jon Piechowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said on 9 October.“ It threatens economic security. , undermines the sovereignty of coastal states, degrades the environment and weakens the global rule-based order. ”
As the world’s population increasingly depends on fish as a source of protein, it is of utmost importance to regulate and comply with local and national fisheries regulations, the State Department said.
Since July 2020, a fishing fleet of more than 250 vessels has carried out suspicious activities off the coast of South America. It is feared that these boats have incurred overfishing around the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, declared by UNESCO as a natural heritage of humanity, and one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world.
Most of these ships are from the People’s Republic of China. Not only do IUU fishers harm the livelihoods of local fishers, they also endanger the health and sustainability of ocean resources and marine fauna, Piechowski said.
IUU fishing undermines science-based conservation of ecosystems. When the catch is undeclared, local fisheries managers are unable to correctly account for fish mortality in their exclusive economic zone, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Strategic Outlook.
Thus, the results of unreported fishing “put undue pressure on important fish stocks” and can upset the ecological balance, the document explains. This means that if too many fish are taken from the ocean or sea without the knowledge of fisheries managers, nations will not be able to regulate or adapt to conservation efforts at their fishing sources, and fish populations could be severely depleted. permanent.
The equipment used by IUU fishers is more harmful to the environment.
“Illegal fishing methods and equipment used by perpetrators of IUU fishing can also destroy habitats and lead to overharvesting and dissipation,” says the strategic perspective. “These practices destroy not only current resources, but also their ability to be harvested sustainably for years and decades to come.”
Combating IUU fishing and promoting joint work between countries on sustainable fishing practices is even more important for the conservation of the environment, says the State Department.
“The US, as a rule, calls on all of our partners around the world to combat IUU fishing,” David Hogan of the State Department said on 9 October, “and we urge the People’s Republic of China to adhere to international standards. , and to stop any illegal practice around the world ”.
Read the coverage via Dialogo Americas at https://dialogo-americas.com/articles/illegal-fishing-degrades-the-environment/
Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021