Taiwan Yellow-carded by US for Illegal Fishing Practices 美NOAA報告 指我涉非法漁業.海龜混獲

For the first time, Taiwan is listed as one of the countries engaging in illegal fishing in a recent report released by the U.S. government. The Fisheries Agency said it was not asked by the U.S. about the findings, and will contact the U.S. government to learn more about why Taiwan was included.


Migrant fishermen reported their employer to Greenpeace for illegal fishing practices on Taiwanese fishing vessel Wei Ching. They said the vessel has been shark finning and gathered close to 100 kilograms of shark fin in eight months. In its recently published biennial "Improving International Fisheries Management Report", the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) named Wei Ching, along with two other Taiwanese fishing vessels for violations of transshipment and shark-related conservation measures, and sea turtle capturing. For the first time, Taiwan has been listed by the U.S. as an illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and bycatching country. If progress is not made within two years, the U.S. might resort to sanctions such as placing trade restrictions on Taiwan.

Lin Ting-jung, Chief, Deep Sea Fisheries Division, Fisheries Agency:” The U.S. did not verify their evidence and accuracy of information with Taiwan while they wrote up their report.” 

Taiwan's Fisheries Agency said the report was written based soley on oral interviews with non-governmental organizations and what was described in the report was old news. The agency called it unfair. The Taiwan Tuna Longline Association spoke up against such allegations as well. They stressed that they have been giving out turtle excluder devices to fishing vessels so fishermen could release them if they are accidentally caught.

Ho Shih-chieh, Secretary-General, Taiwan Tuna Longline Association:” It's all rumors and groundless talks. Those stories have not been confirmed. I think it is unfair to our fishing industry.”

Lin Ting-jung, Chief, Deep Sea Fisheries Division, Fisheries Agency:” Our fishermen don't capture sea turtles on purpose. The U.S. applies their own standards on everywhere else. They use larger hooks to prevent sea turtles from eating the bait. Twenty-nine countries got listed, including countries in the EU like France and Spain. Japan also. Countries in the Atlantic region are practically all included on the list.”

However, was the migrant fishermen's allegations true? An expert said the Fisheries Agency should step forth and investigate the whole matter.

Li Kuo-tien, Honorary Professor, Dept. of Envi. Biology and Fishery Science, NTOU:” How should we go about catching and banning the practice, if indeed true, is definitely important. If not, we need to find out why we are accused of the bad practice.” 

Experts further said that Taiwan should not be denied of its effort in making significant fishery management reform in the recent years. However, as it is prevalent for Taiwanese-owned fishing vessels to register in other countries to circumvent regulations, Fisheries Agency should deal with the situation proactively.

 

 


臺灣籍漁船「威慶」上頭的外籍漁工,曾向綠色和平控訴,他們八個月內捕了約100公斤的魚翅,但鯊魚的身體直接丟掉,涉及「割鰭棄身」的違法捕撈。近期美國NOAA發布兩年一度的「國際漁業管理改善報告」,點名台灣包含「威慶」等3艘漁船,涉及非法轉運鯊魚鰭,另外,也涉及海龜混獲,台灣在兩個黑名單都首次上榜,如果兩年內沒改善,未來對美國出口漁獲,恐遭制裁。

漁業署遠洋漁業組組長 林頂榮:「對於這樣的資訊,美方在報告的過程當中並沒有跟台灣方面做查證。」

漁業署主張,該份報告只是引述非營利組織口述訪談,而且該案已是兩三年前發生的事情了,直接這樣點名台灣並不公平。台灣鮪延繩釣協會也大聲喊冤,並且強調今年協會都有發給漁船「海龜除鉤器」,萬一海龜上鉤可以即時放生。

台灣鮪延繩釣協會秘書長 何世杰:「都是一些道聽塗說、都是沒有經過證實的一些東西,我覺得對我們漁業界非常不公平。」

漁業署遠洋漁業組組長 林頂榮:「基本上我們漁民不會刻意去捕撈海龜,美國比較在意的是說,美國他們有自己國內的法令,他們是要用比較大型的鉤具避免海龜會吃到餌料,目前他美國點名29個國家包括歐盟,包括法國、西班牙、日本、大西洋那邊所有相關漁業國家,大概都被列入了。」

但外籍漁工曾指控非法轉運鯊魚鰭的狀況,究竟有沒有發生?學者認為,漁業署仍有責任調查清楚。

海洋大學環境生物與漁業系名譽教授 李國添:「我們怎麼樣去取締,我們怎麼樣去檢查,這次的指控我們必須要正視,但是我們要查明真正的原因。」

我國近年在漁業管理上大刀闊斧改革,學者給予肯定,也同樣努力不應直接遭到抹煞,但不少台灣船東將船登記在國外,海上作業遊走灰色地帶,這方面該如何納管?也亟需漁業署著手應對。
 

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