PROBLEM: The foreign flagged vessel, "Galapagos Beauty", a 550 GRT stern trawler has been fishing for the last four days in the EEZ of the Republic of Zoro. The vessel is not authorized to fish in the EEZ. The vessel has been making good catches of pomp, cot and rouly, all of which are high valued species and have strong market demand in Europe and North America.
The Chief Fisheries Officer (CFO) in Angona, the capital of Zoro estimates that the vessel has taken 200 tonnes of these species in the four day period while operating in the countrys EEZ. His estimates are based on records of past catches, industry intelligence and photographs taken from the air while the vessel was hauling its net.
The vessel, according to its markings and flag which are clearly visible from the air, is registered in Camilla, a small island state in the Southern Ocean. Zoros CFO has contacted the Registry Manager in Camilla. He has advised that there is no record of this vessel on the registry.
Zoros medium-scale fishers who operate vessels of up to 200 GRT have protested to the Minister for Fisheries in Angona claiming that this larger foreign vessel is taking fish that they are legitimately authorized to catch. These fishers claim that the "Galapagos Beauty" is in fact flying more than one flag. Questions have been asked in parliament about what action the Government is taking to deal with this incursion. The Minister is under pressure to respond with a strong reply.
Zoro has a limited MCS capacity. It has only one small multi-purpose vessel that is used for MCS and search and rescue when and if required. However, the Government does have a light aircraft that it uses regularly to surveille the EEZ. It is used for fisheries, customs and search and rescue purposes. Zoro is a new member of the International MCS Network.
Intercepted radio conversations between the captain of the "Galapagos Beauty" and the vessel owner, who lives in Falu, have revealed that the fish will be offloaded in a neighbouring country in the port of Hella, 350 kms from Angona, in two days time. Apparently, the catch has been sold on a forward contract and is destined for transport to a national supermarket chain in Zetland.
Zoro is a member of the Oceanic Fisheries Commission which maintains information on IUU fishing activities submitted by members. The Commission also has a "blacklist" of IUU fishing vessels.
MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM: The Minister has called a meeting of officials and a representative from the fishing industry in his office. Those involved in the meeting are:
3. Representative from the Government Solicitor
4. Senior MCS Officer
5. President of the Fishers Association
6. Coordinator of the International MCS Network
7. Director of the Oceanic Fisheries Commission
ACTION: To develop a strategy to deal with the problem.
TIME ALLOCATION: 1.0 hour.