Sanford Welcomes Efforts to Stop Illegal Fishing
Sanford Welcomes Efforts of New Zealand Authorities to Stop Illegal Fishing
As one of only two New Zealand companies permitted to source toothfish from the Ross Sea fishery, Sanford (NZX:SAN) welcomes the current efforts of the New Zealand Government, Navy and other New Zealand agencies to fight illegal fishing in the waters of Antarctica.
This week the HMNZS WELLINGTON intercepted three vessels fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean. Two of the vessels refused to allow New Zealand Navy personnel to board despite their flag states granting approval.
“Illegal fishing poses many dangers, not only for the environment and fish stocks, but also for responsible licensed crew and vessels that may be called upon to assist in the search and rescue of these rogue operators when they get into trouble operating in these remote and isolated areas,” says Greg Johansson, Sanford’s Chief Operations Officer.
“Regular surveillance by our New Zealand authorities in the Southern/Antarctic Oceans gives authorised fishers like Sanford peace of mind that there are more eyes and resource out there supporting our own efforts to combat illegal fishing. This is proving especially valuable this season with the Navy extending its surveillance area outside of the general Ross Sea region to more remote locations,” he says.
Greg Johansson says that as part of the CCAMLR license agreement for the Ross Sea fishery, vessels like Sanford’s San Aspiring and San Aotea II are always on the look-out for non-permitted vessels and required to report any illegal activity they encounter. “The areas covered by our vessels in the Ross Sea are not known to harbor IUU activity due to the fishery being covered by ice for nine months of the year. The number of licensed fishing vessels operating in the area and general marine traffic heading to and from research bases in the general Ross Sea region over the summer melt act as a deterrent to unlicensed operators.”
• One of the main Antarctic toothfish fisheries, managed by the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), has existed since 1996 in the Ross Sea, which is 4000km south of New Zealand.
• Only two New Zealand fishing companies, including Sanford, are permitted to source toothfish from the Ross Sea fishery. Sanford has two vessels authorised to fish in the Ross Sea fishery: the San Aotea II and the San Aspiring.
• Other countries with vessels authorised to catch toothfish using longlines include: Australia, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine and the UK.
• Illegal fishing refers to activities:
o conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without the permission of that State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations;
o conducted by vessels flying the flag of States that are parties to a relevant RFMO but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures adopted by that organisation and by which the States are bound, or relevant provisions of the applicable international law;
o or in violation of national laws or international obligations, including those undertaken by cooperating States to a relevant RFMO.