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FISHED OUT - A recent United Nations study reported that more than two-thirds of the world's fisheries have collapsed or are currently being
over fished. Much of the remaining one third is in a state of decline due to habitat degradation from pollution and climate change.
Escalating amounts of point and non-point pollution continue to threaten water quality and fish habitat.
Yet, the human population consumes over 100 million metric tons of fish
annually and more than 25% of the world’s dietary protein is provided by
In 2015, the EU supply (domestic production + import) slightly decreased by 381.872 tonnes compared to 2014, moving from 14,94 to 14,56 million tonnes. The main driver was domestic production from fishing which declined by 299.699 tonnes.
Household expenditure for fisheries and aquaculture products in the EU reached its peak in 2016, at EUR 54,8 billion. Compared to 2015, consumers in all EU Member States, except the UK and Poland, spent more money on seafood in 2016. Per capita expenditure in Portugal was again the highest at EUR 327.
Over the last 8 years, price inflation for fish in the EU has been higher than for food in general, especially in the northern countries. From 2015 to 2016, inflation for fish was 3%, while no increase in prices was observed for food in general. In the first five months of 2017, prices of fish have remained stable. Compared with the same period last year, they were up by almost 4%.
PRESS RELEASE - MARINE MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION - 17 NOVEMBER 2021
[PLEASE NOTE: THIS NEWS ARTICLE WAS WITHDRAWN ON 25 OCTOBER 2022 WITH A NAME CHANGE: BLUE BELT OCEAN SHIELD]
NEW 'BLUE SHIELD' FOR UK OVERSEAS TERRITORIES TO DEFEND OCEANS
The Blue Shield Programme is a new UK Government initiative aimed at tackling the challenges of illegal fishing and unlawful marine activities around the UK Overseas Territories.
* The Blue Shield Programme provides comprehensive tools to defend oceans against illegal fishing activities.
* Suite of support includes innovative technology and surveillance techniques.
* Bermuda is announced as the first Overseas Territory to join the Blue Shield Programme.
The Blue Shield Programme is a new UK Government initiative aimed at tackling the challenges of
illegal fishing and unlawful marine activities around the UK Overseas Territories. It will help UK Overseas Territories strengthen the management and enforcement of their oceans.
Announced at this week’s Joint Ministerial Council (JMC), the Blue Shield Programme is the latest project funded by the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme, which protects over 4 million square kilometers of ocean around the Overseas Territories.
The Blue Shield Programme will identify and analyse activities that may impact the health and sustainability of Overseas Territories’ marine environments. Illegal fishing and
overfishing can cause significant damage to marine environments threatening the sustainability of fish populations, ecosystems, and the livelihoods of those who
fish legally. Effective monitoring and surveillance can help reduce those risks.
The activities surveyed could include illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)
fishing, commercial and recreational vessel activity, as well as shipping activity.
Through the establishment of compliance and enforcement frameworks, Blue Shield will assist the territories to ensure their waters are protected and sustainably managed. Where necessary, Blue Shield will also assist them to undertake enforcement action against non-compliance.
Overseas Territories will also be supported through specialist training for on-island staff to build local capacity, as well as providing access to innovative surveillance and enforcement techniques. These include:
- Autonomous drone technology that can monitor vast areas of ocean for human activity and report its findings in real time.
- Passive acoustic units, which once deployed underwater can monitor for the sounds of vessels which have their GPS positioning systems turned off.
- Latest satellite surveillance data can be used to monitor maritime activity across entire Exclusive Economic Zones.
wonder if the same system might be applied to British waters,
to ensure that tonnages awarded to the EU as part of Brexit,
might be better monitored. This also applies to UK protected
shores, where it is known fishing takes place in conservation
LORD ZAC GOLDSMITH, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT COMMENTED:
"The new Blue Shield Programme will help UK Overseas Territories protect their hugely important marine environments against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing and other damaging activities.
"The Programme will provide training and will use emerging enforcement technologies such as drones and satellite surveillance.
"I am absolutely delighted that Bermuda is the first Territory to join the Blue Shield, and I look forward to an excellent partnership."
Bermuda today announced that it would be the first Overseas Territory to join Blue Shield. Support provided by the Programme, to combat IUU fishing, and manage vessel activity and marine development projects, will underpin Bermuda’s existing protected areas management approach.
HONOURABLE WALTER ROBAN, DEPUTY PREMIER & MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS, BERMUDA COMMENTED:
"I am very excited for Bermuda to be participating in the Blue Shield Programme and I thank the UK Government for their willingness to share vital technology that will help support the surveillance, protection and management of our marine environment.
"Bermuda will continue to align itself with the highest standards needed for the protection of our oceans. Following on from our leading participation in the
Sargasso Sea Commission, our Blue Shield involvement further strengthens Bermuda’s role as custodian of one of the world’s foremost marine ecosystems."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- More detailed information about the Blue Shield Programme
- Interviews are available on request
- A range of other Overseas Territories are in discussions about joining the Programme
- Attached photograph (above) is a heatmap, produced in the surveillance assistance provided to British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) as part of the Blue Belt Programme, and an example of what is offered to overseas territories under the Blue Shield Programme.
THE BLUE BELT PROGRAMME:
- The Blue Belt Programme is a UK Government initiative to enhance marine protection and sustainable management of activities in the UK Overseas Territories.
Overseas Territories who protect their waters with the support of this Programme include Ascension Island, the British Antarctic Territory, British
Indian Ocean Territory, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha – covering over 4 million km2, an area 17 times the size of the UK and over one percent of the Earth’s entire ocean.
- Overseas Territories within the Blue Belt Programme have access to this important capability, but it is now available via the Blue Shield to all other interested Overseas Territories.
- This flagship Programme has been central to the UK Government’s ambition of leading action to tackle the serious global problems of illegal fishing, species extinction and climate change. The Programme has underpinned the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan and supported the achievement of UN
Goals. More recently, it has supported the UK’s commitment to ensure 30% of the world’s oceans are protected by 2030.
- The Blue Belt Programme is delivered by the OTs with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and
Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation
For further information, please contact Karen.Leech@marinemanagement.org.uk
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