Fisheries Department has implemented measures to control construction of new fishing vessels and promote sustainable use of resources.
Greenpeace made false accusation and took aggressive action against shipbuilding plant, it is deeply regrettable.
On October 12th, Greenpeace hung a protest banner on a far sea fishing vessel building plant in Kaohsiung and accused the FA of saying one thing and doing another. Greenpeace alleged that the FA promised to stop the increase in fishing capacity but continues to approve the construction of purse-seine and long-line fishing vessels. The increasing number of fishing vessels has turned Taiwan into one of the countries on top of the list of overfishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The Fishery Agency (FA) indicated that the accusation from Greenpeace was not based on fact. Concerning the policy, the construction of new fishing vessels in Taiwan is already controlled and new construction is approved only for the replacement of old vessels. For the construction of foreign fishing vessels in Taiwan, the registered country must commit to full compliance with international standards, and shipbuilding plants must obtain an approval from the FA prior to construction. In recent years, the FA implemented a policy which requires simultaneously notifying relevant regional fisheries management organizations while proceeding with the approval process for the construction of foreign purse-seine vessels. Shipbuilding information is open and transparent, and we have not been questioned by international fisheries organizations on shipbuilding matters to date. We regret to see that Greenpeace continues to make false accusations and act aggressively against fishing vessel building plants.
The number or tonnage of far-sea tuna fishing vessels has gradually decreased.
The Fisheries Agency further pointed out that the restriction on fishing vessel building has been in force since 1989, and is regulated under “The Regulations for the Issuing of Fishing Vessel Building Permit and Fishery License”. And the building of general fishing vessels (including long-line fishing boats) is only approved for the replacement of old vessels. Furthermore, the number of purse-seiners has dropped from 42 to 34 and the number has remained there in recent years. In addition, implementation of the fishing vessel reduction and takeover policy from 2005 to 2008 effectively reduced by nearly 200 the existence of 100-ton long-line fishing vessels. The statistics proved that the number of tuna fishing vessels registered under Taiwan has been reduced in both quantity and tonnage. We are well-placed in the international effort to stop the increase in fishing capacity for tuna. Regarding Greenpeace’s allegation against the purse-seine vessels, the purse seine vessels registered under Taiwan are currently operating in economic waters governed by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA, the eight members are also member states of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)), and the number of operating days for purse seine vessels is under the management of the PNA. The operation period is calculated according to the total length of the fishing vessels and classified into three ranks (for ships less than 50 meters in length, one day is counted as 0.5 operating day, and for ships 50-80 meters in length, one day is counted as one operation day). In compliance with the regulations of the governing countries of the fishing grounds, we simultaneously implemented the three-rank ship-length classification system and an upper limit to the tonnage of newly constructed purse seine vessels.
Taiwan has become a global leader in the management of new construction for fishing vessels.
With superior technology in shipbuilding and reasonable costs, foreign companies have preferred to construct new vessels in Taiwan in recent years. Before the WCPFC enacted specific regulations relating to the construction of new purse-seine vessels, Taiwan took the lead in adopting restrictions on the length and tonnage in replacement and construction of fishing vessels and requires the construction of foreign fishing vessels to follow the same regulations in Taiwan. Because of the restrictions imposed by Taiwan, several Pacific island nations misunderstood our intention as a hindrance to the development of their fishery industries. This misunderstanding has led us to being place under tremendous pressure. Even so, we still insist on these restrictions and standards. In addition, when approving the construction of new vessels, member countries are informed of relevant information through the WCPFC Secretariat Office. The information of fishing vessel construction is open and transparent for the parties concerned. Greenpeace’s allegation regarding the supervision of shipbuilding for far sea fishing has deviated from the facts.
Continuous efforts in conservation, reasonable use of aquatic resources, and healthy development of the fishery industry.
The Fisheries Agency emphasized its policy on conservation, reasonable use of aquatic resources, healthy development of the fishery industry, and continuous improvement of fishermen’s lives. The FA has made tremendous efforts in the management and control of the current number of fishing vessels and is committed to continuously monitoring construction of new fishing vessels in the future. In addition, the FA will also actively engage in talks with the countries concerned to develop reasonable and viable resource conservation and management solutions through ongoing participation in related regional fisheries management organizations. We strive to work toward the goals of the reasonable use of fishery resources and the healthy development of the fishery industry.