Latest update March 29th, 2023 12:59 AM
Sep 08, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – When it comes to compliance with Bilateral Fishing Agreements, Guyana finds itself in the bottom pile of the worst ranked non-compliant actors. This is according to an August 2022 report by the American University Center for Latin American & Latino Studies in collaboration with ‘InSight Crime’, a non-profit investigative journalism organisation.
The report states that there are three main barometers of compliance with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing-related international agreements.
Kaieteur News understands that the first on the list is the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which compiles a biennial report to Congress that identifies state actors it deems to be non-compliant with IUU fishing treaties. In the two most recent NOAA reports from 2019 and 2021, three of the nine countries covered by this report were reported to Congress. Costa Rica and Guyana were downgraded from compliant to non-compliant (from 2019 to 2021), while Ecuador was deemed non-compliant in 2019 but compliant in 2021.
A second indicator is the European Union’s (EU) carding system. In accordance with its IUU Regulation of 2010, the report states that the EU will issue a yellow card to countries it deems to be in non-compliance with international rules, sparking a formal dialogue on IUU fishing between the EU and the carded country. If the country does not come into compliance, the country will be issued a red card, banning all fisheries products caught by fishing vessels under the flag of the listed countries from being imported into the EU until the country is compliant. Ecuador and Panama both have a history of being yellow carded. None of the nine countries covered by this report has ever been red carded.
The final indicator is the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime’s IUU Fishing Index. The Index evaluates countries’ vulnerability, exposure, and responses to IUU fishing in an effort to demonstrate to policymakers where policy interventions are most necessary. The index incorporates various factors, each measured on a scale of 1 (the best) to 5 (the worst), with each country being ranked on its average across all factors. According to the index, Chile and Uruguay were ranked among the 25 best countries in the world in their efforts to counter IUU fishing. Guyana was the lowest rated of the nine countries evaluated, with Jamaica, Ecuador, and Argentina joining Guyana in the bottom third of the overall ranking. Costa Rica, Panama, and Suriname were each closer to the middle of the Index.
By all three indicators, despite the challenges they face, Chile and Uruguay are regarded as regional leaders in combatting illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
It was noted that at the next tier, countries still face hurdles with meeting their numerous international obligations, or have yet to join important international agreements despite their progress in developing some effective strategies (like MPAs). It stated that two smaller Caribbean nations (Guyana and Jamaica) are still building capacity to join international fisheries institutions.
However, these compliance measures do not tell the full story. The report states that countries which are compliant also contribute to the problem of IUU fishing through their bilateral agreements with non-compliant countries.
Three of the countries covered by this report were considered noncompliant by NOAA within the past five years: Costa Rica, Guyana, and Ecuador. The report said these non-compliant countries have many bilateral agreements with each other and with other countries analyzed in this report. It was stated for example that Costa Rica and Ecuador, both non-compliant countries, in 2021 agreed to a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) to combat IUU fishing.
Other examples are Chile, a compliant country, and Ecuador, a non-compliant country, who have signed multiple bilateral MOUs on fishing cooperation over the past twenty years.
Additionally, many of the nine countries covered by the report also have bilateral agreements with Mexico, a major regional non-compliant country. Mexico has numerous free trade agreements with the countries covered by this report, including Costa Rica, Panama, and Uruguay.
With regard to actors from outside the Latin American and Caribbean region, many of the countries analyzed in this report have bilateral agreements with Russia and China, who have become major players in regional fishing, even as NOAA has reported them to Congress as non-compliant with international IUU fishing law.
China the report stated has the most fishing agreements with Latin American and Caribbean countries of any non-compliant country. Kaieteur News understands that China began signing fishing agreements with South and Central American countries as long ago as 1981. But, China remains very active in establishing such agreements, including a wave of agreements in the late 2010s with Guyana, Jamaica, Panama, Suriname, and Uruguay.
These fishing agreements with China address a variety of technical and strategic efforts, from creating bilateral channels for information sharing and best practices to the training of technical officers and normalization of port relations.
The report states that since 2012, Russia has established bilateral agreements with both Argentina and Ecuador on developing cooperation for the sustainable use of marine resources and combating IUU fishing.
Finally, in 2020, the Russian Federation and Chile reached an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation to prevent illnesses in aquaculture. Other non-compliant actors, such as Taiwan and South Korea, have a smaller number of bilateral agreements with the countries covered by this report. Costa Rica signed a free trade agreement with South Korea in 2018 and Panama has free trade agreements with both Taiwan (2004) and South Korea (2018). Chile signed a free trade agreement with South Korea in 2003.
You sucking the dry seed of your own mangoes, while the foreigners eating sweet flesh.
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