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WTO Finally Nets Deal Curbing Fisheries Subsidies, But Tables Key Bits For Later
Talks aimed at curbing harmful subsidies for fisheries concluded in Geneva in the first multilateral trade agreement the World Trade Organization (WTO) has struck in almost a decade. The body’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) was scheduled for June 12–15, but overtime negotiations didn’t conclude until early June 17.

It is the first time WTO members have ever concluded a deal “with environmental sustainability at its heart,” WTO director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in her closing speech.
The fisheries agreement is a global solution that “will help ensure ocean resources are used in a sustainable way that drives economic growth and development while maintaining a healthy ocean for the benefit of biodiversity, nature, and people,” Dona Bertarelli, special adviser for the blue economy with the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, told Mongabay. Continue reading here (Source: Mongabay).


Call For Better Deal; Plea For Fisheries Agreement to Include the Pacific
The massive subsidies by large industrial fishing have led to the overfishing of oceans in the Pacific region and this needs to stop.
This was the message from Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Faiyaz Koya on the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement in Geneva.
Speaking on behalf of the Pacific ministers, Mr Koya said they welcomed the latest draft of the text which was a significant step toward the conclusion of these negotiations. Continue reading here(Source: The Fiji Times).


Samoa PM Says Pacific Can Deal With Its Own Security Issues
Pacific security issues should and can be dealt with by countries in the region, Samoan prime minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said today, adding that China remained an attractive economic partner given its size.
China’s growing influence in the Pacific and the potential of militarisation in the small island nations scattered across the South Pacific has concerned neighbouring Australia and New Zealand and their ally, the US.
“Everyone’s interested in China – they’re a huge market, in purchasing power, and so forth,” said Mata’afa in an interview with Reuters during an official visit to New Zealand. Continue reading here (Source: Free Malaysia Today).


Seafood Industry Forming Methods to Influence RFMO Decisions
There are 12 RFMOs besides the five tuna RFMOs, covering the majority of the world’s oceans and other highly migratory species. They are:
  • AIDCP: Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Programme
  • NEAFC: North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission
  • NAFO: Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
  • NASCO: North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation
  • SEAFO: South-East Atlantic Fisheries Organisation
  • SIOFA: Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement
  • SPRFMO: South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization
  • CCAMLR: Convention on Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
  • GFCM: General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean
  • CCBSP: Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea
  • WECAFC: Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission
  • CECAF: Fisheries Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic
Continue reading here (Source: SeafoodSource).


Thai Seafood Processing Industry Agrees New Steps to Improve Working Conditions
The Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA) and Thai Frozen Food Association (TFFA) have strengthened their commitment to the Seafood Good Labour Practices (GLP) scheme to ensure that it succeeds as a robust and credible industry improvement programme.
The move follows the launch of a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) entitled ‘Turning principles into pathways: the future of the Seafood Good Labour Practices programme’ that provides a series of recommendations to strengthen the effectiveness of the Seafood GLP scheme.
Steps agreed by the industry associations include involving civil society organizations in factory visits and providing more detailed annual public reporting such as information on the composition of Worker Welfare Committees in participating factories and worker grievances. Recognizing the contribution of migrant and women workers to the sector, TTIA and TFFA have committed to increasing their number on Worker Welfare Committees as well as provide incentives to encourage participation.Continue reading here (Source: International Labour Organization).


Array of NGOs Claim Proposed MSC Standards Would “Tarnish” Its Reputation
A cadre of international NGOs focused on environmental conservation have written a letter to the Marine Stewardship Council claiming its proposed new standards – the product of MSC’s fisheries standard review begun in 2018 – would “tarnish” its reputation.
The letter was sent by the WWF, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Birdlife Marine Programme, The Nature Conservancy, Ecology Action Centre, Earthworm Foundation, IPNLF, and the Sharkproject. According to the NGOs, the latest fisheries standard proposed by the MSC has “significant weaknesses.”
The NGOs have a number of concerns, including the amount of time the new standard gives to fisheries to reach harvest strategies, potential loopholes in the standard that could threaten seabirds, and the amount of power given to conformity assessment bodies (CABs) to make executive decisions on whether a fishery meets standards.
Continue reading here (Source: SeafoodSource).


Seychelles and Mayotte Sign New 6-Year Fisheries Agreement
Seychelles and Mayotte have re-negotiated and signed a new fisheries agreement, allowing Seychelles-flagged tuna purse seining vessels to operate in the waters of the French overseas department, while also being reciprocal in its terms for vessels from Mayotte fishing in Seychelles’ waters.
The six-year agreement was signed by Seychelles’ Principal Secretary for Fisheries, Roy Clarisse, and Emmanuel Berck, Deputy Head of the unit for Trade Negotiations and Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements of the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the European Commission, on Friday.
Seychelles’ fisheries minister, Jean Francois Ferrari, said that “our team, and that of the United Nations and of France, have carried out detailed work on all aspects of the agreement.” Continue reading here (Source: Seychelles News Agency).