Hodgson on International Pirate Fishing Taskforce
Monday 1 December 2003
Fisheries Minister Pete Hodgson will be a member of an international ministerial task force to tackle the problem of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
The Ministerial Task Force on IUU Fishing was announced at the Deep Sea 2003 conference in Queenstown today by Hon Simon Upton, chairman of the OECD's Round Table on Sustainable Development.
The top-level task force will be led by Britain's Minister of State for the Environment, Elliot Morley. Besides Mr Hodgson, other members include the Fisheries Ministers of Australia, Chile and Namibia.
Scientists, legal experts and representatives of environmental groups and business will be invited to participate and other Ministers could join the task force as it evolves.
"IUU fishing is an urgent problem for the world's fisheries," Mr Hodgson said. "High seas fishing has grown rapidly over the past 20 years but the management and policing of it has not kept up. There is no globally enforceable regime to ensure that high seas fish stocks are not over-exploited and depleted."
"New Zealand as a maritime nation with a strong fishing industry needs more effective international efforts to combat pirate fishing. I am pleased that this Task Force is led at ministerial level, which should ensure it delivers results."
The Task Force will work for up to two years. Its aim is to prepare recommendations on how to prevent and eliminate IUU fishing that are sound, politically realistic and financially viable and to ensure their implementation at national, regional and international levels.
For a background paper on IUU fishing from the OECD, visit: