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Lockdowns have resulted in reduced capacity for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance of fishing activities, says Fijian Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau.
He made the comment in Parliament recently while speaking on how COVID-19 has impacted illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Fiji waters.
Koroilavesau said IUU, which included offences such as fishing without a licence or conducting illegal transhipment at sea, were suspected of being conducted.
“Global reports show that fishing operators can keep operating, are well-versed in these limitations, and there are risks that may adapt their operation to engage in illegal activities,” he said.
“Under the unreported component of IUU, the ministry continues to implement 100 per cent reporting for all of Fiji and foreign fleets that either enter or exit Fiji’s fishery waters for fishing or innocent passage, enter Fiji’s waters intending to use Fiji’s ports, facilities, and for those that enter Fiji’s waters because of emergencies.”
He also said there was 100 per cent boarding and inspections on all fleets visiting Fiji ports.
“Under this activity, mandatory reporting requirements are inspected and verified by our port inspectors.
This includes inspection of fishing logs, engine logs, electronic equipment, and a sweep of the vessel,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
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