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Working group of nations go after China's flags of convenience by Mark Godfrey October 23,2020   |  Source: SeafoodSource

Fisheries officials from the European Union, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States have met to discuss cooperation on limiting the use of flags of convenience by distant-water fishery companies involved in illegal fishing.

The online meeting, which took place 15 October, follows a report by the advocacy group Environmental Justice Foundation criticizing the process whereby fishing companies buy flags from flag states, which are then unwilling or unable to monitor the activity of problem trawlers. The report, “Off the Hook: How Flags of Convenience Let Illegal Fishing Go Unpunished,” details the damage that flags of convenience cause to fisheries and how they are used to conduct illegal fishing. In the report, EJF calls for sanctions to end the practice and more transparency surrounding the registration of fishing vessels.

“Flags of convenience in fisheries confound accountability,” the EJF report states. Flags of convenience and the frequent practice of re-flagging used by vessel owners to escape sanctions also “hinder efforts to identify and sanction the ultimate beneficiaries of illegal fishing activities,” according to the report.

An earlier EJF report on the same issue, published nearly a decade ago, named the E.U. and fishing countries in


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Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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