Bottom Trawling Pact


And as an added incentive, there's the "if you bottom trawl, we'll send Ripley after you with a flamethrower duct taped to a grenade launcher" picture.
"Observers and ship locator monitoring systems are to be used, and vessels must remain at least five nautical miles (9,260 meters) from deep-water corals and other vulnerable marine ecosystems."

The only problem being you don't know where these are until you hit them with the nets. Then it's too late.

What a wonderful thing to wake to and read!

I'm not exactly sure what 'discouraged' means, in that the trawlers will be discouraged from working in these vulnerable/productive areas.
Steve O'Shea;94414 said:
I'm not exactly sure what 'discouraged' means, in that the trawlers will be discouraged from working in these vulnerable/productive areas.

I vote for "discouraged" meaning "have their boats impounded" (or the Ripley solution I mentioned above) but they probably mean "warned, and fined if they've been warned too many times" or similar.
sorseress;94400 said:
Great start. Now the rest of the ocean...and figuring out how to patrol it to make sure the pact isn't being violated.

At least it does cover a fairly decent area

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The VMS systems reduce the need for active patrolling which makes this sort of thing much more manageable.

The trick, as with all agreements reached by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, will be the willingness of the individual flag states to enforce the rules on vessels flagged to thier nations.

And, of course, remember to look at the list of nations that agreed. Only they have any obligation to abide by these measures, flags of convenience are a problem that refuses to go away.

It will be interesting to see the actual wording of the agreement
What would really top the year off would be for someone to call their ship F.V. Neil Diamond!
Interesting, I just had a look at the wording of the agreement on the SPRFMO site and it's stricter than I would have thought (as such things go).

In particular all bottom trawlers will have to have an observer and if any evidence of a vulnerable ecosystem is found (e.g. they pull up some cold water coral or sponges) they have to stop fishing anywhere within 5 nautical miles of the location and report it to the secretariat. From then on the 5nm around that spot are added to the list of areas closed to bottom trawling.

Of course the entire section starts with the phrase "These interim measures are voluntary and are not legally binding under international law" but that's pretty standard.
That is frightening!

New Zealand is taking this matter very seriously. The link is a few days old now, but important nevertheless.

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