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Fishing vessels advised to report catch honestly

July 23, 2018 1:25 am

The Fisheries Ministry says unreported fishing could lead to pressure on fish stock, cost the economy millions and affect the livihood of Fijians in coastal areas.

Fisheries Enforcement Officer, Hilda Lobendahn says many fishing vessels entering our ports are not reporting their catch honestly and correctly.

”The big problem that we have now is the language barrier because most of the vessels coming in are foreign vessels and most of them are Chinese and Taiwanese and sometimes they don’t understand the reporting requirements. Sometimes the captain thinks that the other vessels will know where they’re fishing. Sometimes there’s alot of catch from certain places so they don’t record correctly how much they’re catching.”

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Fisheries Officer, Meli Raicebe says they can inspect up to five fishing vessels a day and if they find a breach, flag states are immediately notified.

”Inspections usually happen every day so every time a vessel comes in, they would inspect it according to the standards that are set out under the agreement and also as reflected under our current act. If we do come across issues where there are discrepancies or issues of IUU, there’s a procedure to be followed which is investigation on the matter and notification to the flag state.”

Meanwhile, the implementation of the Port State Measures will now give fisheries officers the confidence to carry out inspections of fishing vessels that enter our ports.

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