17 Feb 2012

Greenpeace urges Taiwan to keep tab on fishing fleets

3:02 pm on 17 February 2012

Greenpeace has called on the Taiwanese government to better regulate its fishing industry as evidence increases of its fleets fishing illegally in the Pacific.

The call from Greenpeace's Oceans Team Leader, Lagi Toribau, comes after a US$65,000 fine and one-year ban was issued by Palau against a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel.

In December, Palauan fisheries officials detained the vessel, Sheng Chi Hui No.7, during a joint patrol with Greenpeace in Palau's exclusive economic zone.

FishUpdate.com reports that the vessel was carrying sharks and detached shark fins inside Palauan waters which in 2009 were declared a shark sanctuary.

Mr Toribau has urged Pacific Island countries to unite at the upcoming Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in Guam for the protection of their ocean resources.

He says foreign fleets must reduce their fishing by half and agree to the exclusion from fishing of the Pacific Commons - areas of high seas that flank a dozen Pacific countries.