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Cablegate: Iccat Chair Weighs Taiwan's Prospects

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #3381/01 2720946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290946Z SEP 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2398
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5718
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN 0055
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8133
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 8075
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 0077
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 003381

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/OMC; COMMERCE FOR NOAA/NMFS DENIT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS ETRD SENV ICCAT TW
SUBJECT: ICCAT CHAIR WEIGHS TAIWAN'S PROSPECTS

REF: 05 TAIPEI 4832

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: International Commission on Conservation of
Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) Chairman William Hogarth and advisors
met with Taiwan officials on September 22 to discuss Taiwan's
progress in meeting ICCAT recommendations to reduce its
fishing capacity. Taiwan officials presented data to support
their efforts to abide by the ICCAT requirements and hoped
that their pre-2005 fishing quota would be restored. Hogarth
was pleased with the progress made since the last ICCAT
meeting, but was guarded in his views on how much quota ICCAT
would likely allocate Taiwan this time. He urged tighter
control of Taiwan's fishing fleet and better data management
to ensure compliance with ICCAT regulations. End Summary.


COA AND MOFA HOPE TO RESTORE FISHING QUOTA
------------------------------------------

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2. (SBU) William Hogarth, current chair of ICCAT and
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Marine
Fisheries Service (NMFS), met Taiwan officials on September
22 to discuss it progress to comply with ICCAT recommendation
05-02 requiring Taiwan reduce its fishing capacity.
Accompanying Hogarth were Kelly Denit, NMFS office of
International Affairs, Robert Hayes, U.S. Recreational
Commissioner to ICCAT, Randi Parks Thomas, U.S. Commercial
Commissioner to ICCAT and AIT Econoff.

3. (SBU) Hogarth first met Vice-Minister Lee Jen-Chyuan of
the Council on Agriculture (parent agency of the Fisheries
Agency). Lee said Taiwan has made serious efforts to control
the size of its fishing fleet as evidenced by scrapping of
excess vessels and implementation of fishery management
measures, including stationing observers on ships and at
ports to conduct inspections. Lee said Taiwan had sent
inspection teams to Capetown and Las Palmas to check on the
activities of its fishing boats. Hogarth said he was pleased
with Taiwan's enforcement efforts in the Caribbean where 23
Taiwan vessels (ranging from 20-24 meters in length) operate
under the St. Vincent flag, and one under Panamanian flag.

4. (SBU) At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hogarth met with
Vice-minister Yang Tzu-pao and International Organizations
Chief John Chen. They both reiterated COA's concern about
Taiwan being able to restore its big-eye tuna quota at the
next meeting. Hogarth urged Taiwan to continue to work on
compliance issues and said he is willing to work with Taiwan
to help organize technical exchanges, workshops on fishing
capacity workshops, and other training programs. Bob Hayes
noted he heard from some fellow ICCAT members that although
Taiwan was not a full member, it was occupying much of the
ICCAT agenda. Therefore, he and Hogarth both felt that
Taiwan's voluntary contribution to ICCAT's funding was
appreciated by the membership. (Note: Taiwan pays a little
more than half what full members pay. End note.)

GOOD PROGRESS ON BOAT SCRAPPING
-------------------------------

5. (SBU) Hogarth also met with Fisheries Agency(FA) staff and
reviewed their progress over the last year. FA
Director-General Shieh Dah-wen listed steps Taiwan has taken
to meet ICCAT recommendation 05-02. Foremost was Taiwan's
progress in dismantling 160 fishing vessels. To date, 70
vessels have been scrapped, an additional 42 vessels have
been earmarked for reef building, leaving 48 vessels to be
scrapped by the end of the year. Better monitoring of Taiwan
vessels will also be possible with the required installation
of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) on all of its high-seas
fishing vessels. This system not only allows vessel tracking
but also lets the ships communicate with the ports and report
fish catch volume. Shieh also reported that Taiwan's
Legislative Yuan has approved a five-year budget to
strengthen fisheries management.

6. (SBU) Hogarth stressed the need for more complete data on
fish catches and noted that the Japanese wanted a breakdown
of species on the inspection forms. Hogarth brought up
Canadian concerns that Taiwan had allegedly built 300 new
boats of under 24 meters length in the last 18 months and
were using them under flags of convenience. Shieh denied
these allegations, and said that the FA will provide data to
prove them groundless.

RESTORATION OF FULL FISHING QUOTA UNLIKELY
------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The FA screened a video presentation to demonstrate
Taiwan's progress in reducing its fishing capacity since the
last ICCAT meeting. Hogarth said it was a well-prepared
presentation that should be shown at the next ICCAT meeting.
Shieh said that Taiwan hoped to have its tuna fishing quota
restored to its original level. Hogarth said that Taiwan
could hope for a partial restoration of its quota depending
on how ICCAT received their supporting documentation. NMFS
personnel told Taiwan that one of the important aspects in
ICCAT's consideration on how much quota to allocate Taiwan
rested on Taiwan's ability to formulate sound fishery plans
for the future.

COMMENT
-------

7. (SBU) Based on the presentations made at the meeting,
Taiwan has indeed made progress since the 2005 ICCAT meeting.
However, all efforts seemed geared toward meeting the ICCAT
recommendations from 2005. A long term plan for Taiwan
fisheries was not evident, raising questions whether the
current measures will be sustainable in the long run. End
Comment.

WANG

WANG

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