China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

Using satellite monitoring technology and intelligence capabilities, an investigation by NBC News and Ian Urbina an author and former NY Times journalist, has uncovered massive fishing by a “dark” fleet in North Korean waters with deadly results for North Korean fishermen.

Why This Matters:  China is a member of the UN Security Council that in 2017 banned fishing in North Korean waters (which China used to pay to access) as part of sanctions it imposed after North Korea’s nuclear missile tests.  If it’s true (and the UN has an anonymous report corroborating China’s violations with evidence to back it up) it would be a serious breach of the UN’s security rules

Continue Reading 552 words
Special World Ocean Day Interview with Ambassador Peter Thomson

Special World Ocean Day Interview with Ambassador Peter Thomson

We were honored to get a few minutes with Ambassador Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for Oceans, to talk about the importance of the day and what lies ahead for ocean conservation.  Here are the highlights. ODP:  Ambassador Thomson tells us a little about your background? PT: I come from Fiji, I am a fifth-generation […]

Continue Reading 943 words
Clamp Down on Cross-Border Trade Leads to Temporary Decline in Wildlife Trafficking

Clamp Down on Cross-Border Trade Leads to Temporary Decline in Wildlife Trafficking

In the silver linings category, the COVID-19 pandemic’s shock to economies around the globe is also proving to be a disruption to illegal wildlife trafficking by transnational criminal networks, according to a new report from Wildlife Justice Commission, a non-profit organization that investigates and tracks these criminal activities and networks. 

Why This Matters:  Temporary blockages in the black market supply chain are not surprising, and the bad guys will find a way around them — too much money is at stake and these folks are rule-breakers by training.

Continue Reading 564 words
Illegal Fishing In Chilean Waters Just Got Harder – And You Can Help Catch The Bad Guys

Illegal Fishing In Chilean Waters Just Got Harder – And You Can Help Catch The Bad Guys

Two weeks ago the government of Chile joined Panama, Peru, and Indonesia by making its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch (GFW), which pinpoints on the above map (click on the map above) in real-time the movements of commercial fishing* vessels in Chile’s coastal ocean. 

Why This Matters:  Chile is a fishing powerhouse, and by joining the other nations that have made their similar data public, Chile is adding momentum to the movement towards greater transparency in fishing activity, which is the key to improving fisheries management and sustainability in the Pacific, and all eventually everywhere.

Continue Reading 482 words
Peru Moves to Greater Transparency and Accountability In Its All-Important Fisheries Sector

Peru Moves to Greater Transparency and Accountability In Its All-Important Fisheries Sector

Peru is the second-largest fishing nation in the world after China, and home to one of the world’s largest single stock fisheries – the anchoveta. In 2018, after a shift to rights-based management, its industrial fishery was one of the first in the world to make its vessel location (VMS) data available to the public in order to root out illegal fishing and improve management.

Why This Matters:  Peru may be a small country, but its fisheries are significant globally and the introduction of greater accountability for both large and small fishing vessels is a sign that better management is possible even as the national government struggles to overcome a series of corruption scandals.

Continue Reading 474 words
New Report from Security Think Tank Calls For Greater Transparency in Global Fishing

New Report from Security Think Tank Calls For Greater Transparency in Global Fishing

A new report from the Stimson Center, a global security think tank concludes that globally the fishing industry — particularly fishing vessels that ply waters far from their home (“the distant water fleet”) — is unsustainable and the only way to reign it in is through much greater transparency so that these vessels’ movements and catches can be more closely monitored by governments and NGOs.

Why This Matters: According to the authors, the bottom line is that because distant water fleets have no effective global oversight, they are fishing unsustainably (and possibly even illegally) and that will lead to destabilizing food shortages in parts of the world that can least afford them, like East and West Africa and the Pacific.

Continue Reading 477 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.