Fighting Illegal Fishing

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Fighting Illegal Fishing
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Demak on Java is one of the fishing communities in Indonesia visited by UCSB researchers (Photo: Reniel Cabral)

Source: Julie Cohen, UC Santa Barbara

Short-term pain for long-term gain. When applied to the reform of global fisheries, this strategy could yield enormous benefits.

If only it were that easy.

For many countries — especially those in the developing tropics where fishery reform is needed most — the required costly short-run reductions in fish catch would be difficult to implement because of dependency on fisheries for food and livelihoods.

There is another way, according to UC Santa Barbara researchers and colleagues. In a paper published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, they demonstrate that for countries where illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is prevalent, addressing such activity could kick-start fishery recovery without reducing local fishing effort, catch and profit. Indonesia has proved this to be true, and this new work is the first to show that the country’s policies are effective.

“Indonesia’s anti-IUU fishing policies draw a lot of media attention and speculation about their effect, but no one has demonstrated or evaluated the efficacy of the policies,” said lead author Reniel Cabral, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “Indonesia did a fantastic job of controlling illegal fishing in their waters. But for them to continually capture benefits from their anti-IUU fishing policies, they need to ensure that domestic fishing efforts are also well-managed.”

Historically, Indonesia has experienced high levels of IUU fishing from foreign fleets. In late 2014, seeking to curtail those activities, the country implemented tough and controversial policies that resulted in the sinking of 318 illegal fishing boats (296 foreign-flagged), the banning of all foreign-owned and foreign-made boats from fishing in Indonesia and the restriction of transfers of fish at sea. As a result, foreign fishing in the country dropped by more than 90 percent and total fishing dropped by 25 percent.

“Indonesia’s tough stance on illegal fishing not only jump-started recovery in their waters but also provided a viable example for countries all over the world that are plagued by overfishing driven by illegal behavior,” said co-author and Bren School professor Christopher Costello.

Using skipjack tuna as a model case study, the authors showed that curtailing IUU fishing combined with capping harvest at its maximum sustainable level could by 2035 generate a 14 percent increase in catch and a 15 percent increase in profit compared to current levels. The benefits of this management scenario become even clearer when compared to business as usual, which is projected to reduce catch and profit by 59 percent and 64 percent, respectively, over the same time frame.

The researchers used cutting-edge technologies to achieve an unprecedented view of IUU fishing. They analyzed publicly accessible automatic identification system data processed through Global Fishing Watch, vessel monitoring system data provided by the Indonesian government and nightlight satellite images to provide a complete picture of the impact of Indonesia’s policies. These technologies tracked the behavior of individual fishing vessels globally and in near real-time.

“Satellite technologies are starting to revolutionize fisheries research and management in many ways,” said co-author Juan Mayorga, a marine data scientist with UCSB’s Sustainable Fisheries Group and the National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas project. “A promising application is the evaluation of fisheries and conservation policies such as fishing moratoria or marine reserves. We can now directly assess — like in the case of Indonesia’s IUU policies — whether policies are achieving their intended effect, as well as observe any resulting changes in fishing behavior.”

The investigators’ efforts also resulted in a database and a visualization of the global network of transnational fisheries, which summarizes the extent of fishing in foreign exclusive economic zones. According to Mayorga, this makes basic but important information — on who fishes where and how much — easily accessible. As examples, he cites data showing that China fishes in more than 70 distinct countries and that Mauritania’s waters are being fished by 25 different nations.

“Increased transparency, along with effective regulation and enforcement, can lead to better outcomes for fish stocks and local livelihoods,” said David Kroodsma, Global Fishing Watch’s director of research and development.

This work also revealed hotspots of foreign fishing activity in western Africa and the central Pacific, regions where more than 30 percent of fish catch is illegally obtained and where addressing illegal fishing could see benefits similar to Indonesia’s. In addition, the analysis demonstrated that in Gambia — a country that experienced high levels of illegal fishing from foreign fleets — a policy that banned all forms of industrial fishing in 2015 is working and has the potential to help local fisheries.

“With the rapid expansion of distant-water fishing, satellite technologies will provide tools for countries to monitor their waters,” Cabral said. “Solving IUU fishing globally will be sufficient to catalyze fishery recovery in many regions of the world or at least narrow the gap to global fishery recovery.”

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Channelfog Apr 07, 2018 04:41 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

So last year a Chinese fishing boat was confronted by an Argentine Navy ship while poaching fish in Argentine waters, after doing the same in Uruguayan waters (not poached in a bain marie w/ vegetables!). They then tried to ram the smaller Navy ship. Once the Navy cruiser got radio OK from land based command to open fire on the Chinese ship, it turned away and began to run. Too late. The Argentine Navy had the huevos to open fire, and they sent the Chinese fishing vessel to the bottom, in Argentine waters. Fast forward to this year: The Argentine sub San Juan is sent to investigate illegal fishing by a Chinese vessel, also in Argentine waters. The Submarine San Juan ended up at the bottom of the sea with all hands lost. The press presented this as an "accident". I wonder if the Chinese sent one of their subs to escort this years poaching expedition into Argentine waters. Everyday the three melted cores of the Daichi nuclear power plant release 300-400 metric tons of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, contaminating said food chain. It is not surprising that there is such pressure on Atlantic Fisheries now. As the saying goes, "China has just had a few bad centuries", but they ARE the next Empire. They are probably the most prolific poachers of all the seas at this point.

macpuzl Apr 07, 2018 07:00 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

A fair amount of conspiracy fantasy in that post, although the Argies and Indonesia have been sinking Chinese poachers.

Channelfog Apr 08, 2018 02:03 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Anonymous poster: Would you be so kind as to be specific rather than merely throwing around simplistic " conspiracy theory" allegations as if such were of meaning?

macpuzl Apr 08, 2018 02:17 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Well, the fantasy claims regarding the ARA San Juan and the radiation levels for starters. Since you're making the claims, got any references from reputable sources?

Channelfog Apr 08, 2018 03:49 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

The initial news reports down here said that the San Juan was sent to investigate illegal fishing, which then quickly changed to, '"They were on their way back to port when the accident happened." Argentina can ill afford to confront a massive imperial military power as they would be obligated to do under the afore mentioned circumstances. No definite smoking gun there, but highly suspicious. Why the change in news story? As for radiation levels and the general condition of the Daichi triple meltdown, (of GE Mark 1 reactors, the same model and age of those currently running @ Diablo canyon on extended license due to a "proven safe design"!), I would refer you to No airy fairy, conspiracy BS, just facts based on research done by industry experienced professionals. That mess will not be cleaned up in our lifetimes, will continue daily contamination of the Pacific Ocean and the Japanese Government has passed laws to jail journalists that report on it and refuse to financially compensate doctors who diagnose radiation caused illness under their socialized medicine. Definite smoking gun! fairewinds. org is completely credible, check it out.

macpuzl Apr 08, 2018 04:19 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

(Argentine Naval Prefecture corvette) 03/16 poacher 11/17 San Juan
The ARA San Juan was returning from training deployment to Ushuaia, heading to the Mar del Plata naval base. When it sank, it was in international waters, but in the Argentine EEZ. The submarine was poorly maintained and old. Just before contact was lost, they reported a leak from the snorkel into the forward battery compartment, resulting in short circuits and a fire. They were continuing to limp along on the aft battery only. Mixing seawater with the batteries used often results in an explosion, which is what was subsequently heard by US SOSUS stations. China's most distant operational deployment of a submarine has only been as far as the Indian Ocean. How did they target and sink the ARA San Juan? There is some talk of a Chinese naval base someday being built at Walvis Bay in Namibia, on the other side of South Atlantic, but as of now they have no means to support submarine missions there.

Fairewinds as an objective source??? You gotta be kidding. It is an anti-nuclear propaganda group called Fairewinds Energy Education, nee Fairewinds Associates run by one Arnold Gundersen and his wife, Margaret as an arm of his consulting business.

Tons of real scientific data can be accessed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute website.

Radionuclides are still leaking into ground water, and making their way to the ocean. However, seven years after the main event, the intensely radioactive isotopes with short lifetimes have decayed away. The radionuclide levels in seawater are detectable, but below international safety standards. The current low radiation levels in the fishing areas offshore from Fukushima haven't affected the Japanese fishing industry. Why would China worry? You get more radiation exposure flying across the Atlantic. And that "socialist" and information suppression canard against the Japanese government is just that.
But every conspiracy needs a villain.

Channelfog Apr 08, 2018 09:02 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

As if you or any other civilian knows the capacity or operations of the military of any country. The Daichi site is on a porous volcanic geology that with high flow aquifers carrying rain water from the mountains to the sea, under the destroyed plant and into the ocean. It is not only radioactive isotopes of short half lives that are going into the ocean. The intensity of long lived isotopes in the ocean have not "decayed away" nor will they for a very long while, and they bio accumulate in the food chain. Comparing exposure levels to that which one is exposed flying (aprox 240 millirems, measured it myself during flight), ignores the fact that all exposure to ionizing radiation is cumulative. Additional exposure is to be avoided whenever possible.

macpuzl Apr 08, 2018 09:16 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

I see. Since nobody knows anything but the people from which you've heard made-up stories, there must be a conspiracy. The Chinese navy has whiz-bang technology and the Pacific Ocean is glowing in the dark. You have no objective sources, but everyone else is obviously lying. Right. And all those nasty socialists must be behind it all. Did I miss any of your alt-right memes?

Channelfog Apr 09, 2018 02:00 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

As I stated, to know for a fact what any given military is capable of or is actually doing is not and never has been completely possible. e.g. We (our military) had absolutely zero knowledge that Russia had 4 submarines with nuclear tipped torpedoes in the Caribbean Sea during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was speculating about the Chinese sinking of the San Juan and it could have happened. As for radiation in the Pacific, while I have no degree in radiation, I have studied it and my mom and stepfather both worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. My mom as an occupational nurse who was trained at the Lab in Oak Ridge and my stepfather who was a machinist there. He was also one of a handful of people machining Uranium semi-hemispheres for the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, NM. I was brought up with this stuff and that is why I was interested in studying radioactivity. As for your rude, misplaced, alt-right allegation; all I can say to you Mac, is go eat another Sushi tuna roll.

macpuzl Apr 09, 2018 02:34 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Yeah, we don't know anything about how submarines operate, so anything that we can imagine might have happened. I've heard that swimming purple Albanian unicorns could have pierced the pressure hull, so it might have happened, and it's more likely than you scenario, since they don't make a lot of noise while swimming. And how then, do you know that we weren't tracking Soviet boomers in 1960, since nobody knows anyone else's capabilities?

And if you bothered to peruse any of the Woods Hole links, rather than your propaganda site, you would know that the bioaccumulating strontium isotopes are at low levels, while the predominant radionuclides from this event, like cesium, do not accumulate. But that doesn't fit your narrative of a "socialist" Japanese coverup and chicken-little scenario.

Channelfog Apr 12, 2018 06:15 AM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

We were not only tracking the Soviet subs during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were dropping practice depth charges on them. To the Soviet submariner, they seemed like real depth charges that were not detonating close by. Because we were dogging them they were unable to surface to recharge batteries and were not able to communicate by radio. It would have been very easy for a sub commander to believe the war had started and for them to take out a US fleet with a nuclear tipped torpedo (suicide for the sub too). They did load the "Special Weapon" in a tube ready for firing. Had we known they sported nuke tipped torpedoes, I doubt we would have harassed them so, just monitored them. Daniel Ellsbergs' book Doomsday Machine is a most interesting read. Knowing the current capabilities of another military is exceedingly difficult.

macpuzl Apr 12, 2018 12:07 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Nuclear torpedoes were not a surprise to anyone. And knowing the general capabilities of military equipment within the bounds of the laws of physics and the logistic capabilities of the other military is not the impossible task you make it out to be. But you need to assume that to rationalize your fantasy Chinese attack.

Channelfog Apr 13, 2018 12:38 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Wrong Mac, Our military had zero knowledge that the Soviets had nuclear tipped torpedoes at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, let alone that they had deployed 4 subs with such weapons in the Caribbean Sea at that time. Given that our harassing the subs prevented them from surfacing for radio contact with command, and that the practice depth charges seemed to be real war to the submariners, we are all exceedingly fortunate that none of the sub commanders chose to sink a US carrier fleet with said weapon. We now know that they had actually loaded, what they referred to as, the "Special Weapon" into wet torpedo tubes, ready for launch. At that time we had only ONE nuclear battle plan with zero plans for limited nuclear warfare; launch all nukes while we still could at all targets in Russia AND China. That China had nothing to do with any potential conflict was apparently of no concern. As a matter of fact the targeting maps presented to top brass did not even delineate the border between Russia and China. The WWll fire bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo etc. taught us that large city conflagrations create their own weather systems, elevating huge quantities of soot to the stratosphere, which on the scale of hundreds of cities will create a decade long "Nuclear Winter". It is ironic that it is not the radioactive fallout from such action that will eliminate 99% of mammal life on the planet, but rather the protracted soot induced darkness. It is hard to survive without sunlight. That any of us are here today to discuss such matters truly defies all odds as any limited nuclear conflict was not possible in the 50's and 60's, and may not be possible now.
Having a grasp of the physics and logistical capabilities of military equipment cannot be confused with actual knowledge of a given countries military capability. History has too full of military surprises to make such a claim. Assume not the nature of assumptions of others.

macpuzl Apr 13, 2018 02:56 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Coming from Mister Assumption, your statements are kind of amusing. And you flip and flop within the same post claiming with absolute certainty what we knew or didn't know while asserting we cannot possibly know. You keep deflecting the subject from your fantasy Chinese submarine attack on an Argentine submarine.

Channelfog Apr 13, 2018 04:13 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

Macpuzl: You are a cyber-troll. You post anonymously (a paid Edhat privilege; why? That is another post). You call me names and deride me in all of your posts. I try very hard to post content that is edifying, interesting and historically accurate. I have been wrong on occasion on previous threads and have posted "mea culpa" when called out. That is what community is about; contributing that which we have to offer at the best of our ability, and admitting when we have erred. Regarding this post, I have flipped flopped not. I have posted repeatedly that my assertion regarding the Argentine submarine is my speculation. I am not privy to specific knowledge on the subject. You attack me with vehemence. I now believe you to be nothing more than a cyber troll. Perhaps you believe your paid status on Edhat entitles you to such. As far as I am concerned, this thread is over. It is yours to troll as you wish. Go ahead. trash me. No more comment.

macpuzl Apr 13, 2018 04:32 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

I'm no more anonymous than you are. And, finally, you're admitting the speculation. I like to live in a facts-based world of objective reality, and when I see alt-fact conspiracy nonsense like your Fukushima radioactivity and Chinese submarine fantasies being promulgated it strikes me as an abuse of the internet. I am not attacking you personally, but your actions in asserting false claims, which only further ignorance.

richyrich Apr 08, 2018 02:12 PM
Fighting Illegal Fishing

China is the big bully of the sea and pretty much do whatever the heck they want.

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