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Address key issues

Dawn Gibson
Saturday, February 08, 2014

LEGISLATION which exist to address key issues surrounding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing globally are simply not being implemented well enough.

This was one of problems highlighted by the keynote speaker at Friday night's lecture on responses to IUU fishing, Professor William Edeson.

Prof Edeson, who is the legal adviser to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) as well as a professorial fellow at the University of Wollongong, said a number of countries already had existing legislation — they just were not being implemented.

"Fiji has just adopted some quite strong legislation and really what you need to do is effectively implement the instruments you've already got," Prof Edeson said in an interview.

"One of the problems is that a lot of countries have legislation, but they're just not being implemented dynamically and that's a matter of resources and that's really a matter of just bolstering and strengthening the department in charge as well as training people."

He explained that too often not training the correct people about how to approach such issues led to an unfortunate fate in terms of suspected IUU fishing vessels.

"Often you get the administration issue you a licence, you can then think something's going wrong, have the vessel arrested and bring it in and then you have some trivial thing like a defect in the prosecution and the whole thing can collapse."

The lecture was hosted by USP at its marine campus.

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