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Cablegate: Information Request From Nation of Interest For

VZCZCXRO7463
PP RUEHMA
DE RUEHC #5747/01 2762149
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 022144Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHMA/AMEMBASSY MALABO PRIORITY 0516
INFO RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 2593
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 4587
RUCPDC/NOAA NMFS SILVER SPRING MD PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 105747

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
ACCRA FOR REO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS SENV ETRD EK
SUBJECT: INFORMATION REQUEST FROM NATION OF INTEREST FOR
PURPOSES OF THE HIGH SEAS DRIFTNET FISHING MORATORIUM
PROTECTION ACT

1. This is an action cable; see para. 5.

Background
----------

2. Under recent changes to the High Seas Driftnet Fishing
Moratorium
Protection Act (Moratorium Protection Act) contained in the
Magnuson
Stevens Reauthorization Act (MSRA), the Dept. of Commerce is
required to
produce a biennial report to Congress that lists nations the
United States
has identified as having vessels engaged in illegal,
unregulated and
unreported (IUU) fishing activities or fishing activities
that result in
the bycatch of protected living marine resources (PLMRs).
Once nations
have been identified, there is a notification and
consultation process.
Subsequent to these processes, the United States will certify
whether the
government of an identified nation has provided evidence that
corrective
action has been taken with respect to the activities
identified in the
report to Congress. The absence of sufficient steps by an
identified
nation to address IUU fishing and/or bycatch of protected
living marine
resources may lead to prohibitions on the importation of
certain fisheries
products into the United States from that nation, the denial
of port
privileges for vessels of that nation, and/or other measures.


3. The first biennial report is due to Congress in January
2009. NOAA's
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), in consultation
with the
Department and other agencies, has initiated two parallel
processes to
determine which nations should be identified for IUU fishing
or bycatch
of protected living marine resources. As part of the IUU
fishing
identification process, the United States is contacting
nations that are
of interest for having vessels that allegedly were engaged in
IUU fishing
activity during calendar years 2007 and/or 2008. (Note: NOAA
is still
considering information relevant to the identification
process for bycatch
of PLMRs. While no nation has yet been determined to be a
nation of
interest for Bycatch, we will be undertaking outreach to
nations whose
fishing fleets operate in areas where the Bycatch of PLMRs is
possible.
End Note.)

4. For purposes of the Moratorium Protection Act, and in NMFS
policy
measures implementing it, ''IUU fishing'' is defined as
fishing activities
that violate conservation and management measures required
under an
international fishery management agreement to which the
United States
is a party, including catch limits or quotas, capacity
restrictions and
bycatch reduction requirements; overfishing of fish stocks
shared by the
United States, for which there are no applicable
international conservation
or management measures or in areas with no applicable
international fishery
management organization or agreement that has adverse impacts
on such stocks;

STATE 00105747 002 OF 003

SUBJECT: INFORMATION REQUEST FROM NATION OF INTEREST FOR
PURPOSES OF THE HIGH SEAS DRIFTNET FISHING MORATORIUM
PROTECTION A
and fishing activity that has an adverse impact on seamounts,
hydrothermal
vents, and cold water corals located beyond national
jurisdiction, for which
there are no applicable conservation or management measures
or in areas with
no applicable international fishery management organization
or agreement.
End Background.

Action Request and Talking Points
---------------------------------

5. Action request: Post is requested to approach, at the
highest possible
level, host government officials in relevant
ministries/departments, in
particular fisheries/agriculture, foreign affairs, and
possibly environment
and/or trade, to convey the points below. Post should also
feel free to draw
as necessary from other portions of this cable.

6. Begin talking points:

As your government is aware from our cooperative work in
global fora such as
the FAO and in regional fisheries management organizations,
the United States
is very concerned about the impacts of illegal, unreported,
and unregulated
(IUU) fishing.

In January 2007, the reauthorization of the United States'
chief fisheries
management statute, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation
and Management
Act, included a number of provisions aimed at eliminating IUU
fishing and
addressing fishing activities that adversely impact protected
living marine
resources, such as marine mammals and sea turtles.

As the United States presented in several previous
international meetings,
these new provisions require the United States to identify
nations whose
fishing vessels have been engaged in IUU fishing or bycatch
of protected
living marine resources. The first list of identified
nations will be
included in a report to the U.S. Congress in January 2009.

After a notification and consultation process, the United
States will certify
whether the government of an identified nation has taken
appropriate
corrective action to address the activities identified in the
January 2009
report.

If an identified nation has not taken sufficient steps to
address IUU fishing
and/or bycatch of protected living marine resources by its
vessels, the
United States may deny port privileges for vessels of such
nation and
prohibit the importation of certain fisheries products.

To begin this process, the United States has collected and
reviewed relevant
information that may indicate that certain vessels were
engaged in IUU
fishing activities during calendar years 2007 and/or 2008.

We are now reaching out to the flag States of these vessels
to gather
additional information and seek clarification.

In the case of Equatorial Guinea, we note that correspondence
circulated to
members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic
Living Marine
Resources (CCAMLR) indicates that a fishing vessel on the
CCAMLR IUU vessel
list flagged to Equatorial Guinea (Golden Dragon) was sighted
illegally
fishing inside the CCAMLR Convention Area in April 2008

STATE 00105747 003 OF 003


We also note that correspondence circulated to members of
CCAMLR alleges
that a fishing vessel on the CCAMLR IUU vessel list flagged
to Equatorial
Guinea (Tropic) was sighted illegally fishing inside the
CCAMLR Convention
Area in January 2008 (see CCAMLR COMM CIRC 08/5).

The United States would be very interested to receive
responses to the
following questions:

--Has Equatorial Guinea taken any punitive action against
vessels that are
listed on the CCAMLR IUU vessel list? Have any actions been
taken to
address recent alleged illegal activities of these vessels?

--What other steps have Equatorial Guinea taken to ensure
effective
monitoring and control of its fleet and support vessels, such
as
transshipment/carrier vessels? Specifically, what are the
requirements
for vessel registration and licensing and which part of the
government is
responsible for these activities?

--What punitive actions can Equatorial Guinea take against
its vessels that
are found to be operating illegally? What law or laws
provide the basis
for monitoring, control and enforcement of the fishing fleet
and support
vessels of Equatorial Guinea?

The United States welcomes any information Equatorial Guinea
may be able to
provide, particularly on any corrective actions or other
measures that
Equatorial Guinea has taken to control its fleet and meet its
international
obligations. The United States would like to work with
appropriate
officials from Equatorial Guinea on ways to address any
problems of IUU
fishing and determine what assistance may be needed.

This matter is of utmost importance, and we strongly
encourage your country
to provide us with relevant information concerning these
matters as soon
as possible.

Any response provided by Equatorial Guinea will be thoroughly
considered
in the preparation of the first biennial report to Congress,
due January
2009, on identifications.

End talking points.

7. NMFS POC on this matter is Laura Cimo of the Office of
International
Affairs. She can be reached as follows: Phone: 301-713-9090,
Fax: 301-713-9106, unclass e-mail: laura.cimo@noaa.gov.
Department
POC is OES/OMC: Deirdre Warner-Kramer, phone 202-647-2883.

8. Department and NMFS greatly appreciate Posts'
assistance on this very
important matter and look forward to receiving any responses
from host
government. Timely responses are critical given January 2009
deadline for
transmitting the first biennial report to Congress on
identifications. Post
should feel free to contact NMFS POC with any questions,
requests for
additional information or clarification, or comments
regarding the relevant
U.S. laws, information on alleged IUU fishing activities,
cooperative
assistance that may be needed, or any related matters.
RICE

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