In response to Greenpeace’s allegation saying it was found in Mauritius in February and May 2017,that at least 10 of Taiwan fishing vessels were not registered on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s(IOTC) lists of fishing vessels of 2017 or 2018,the Fisheries Agency expressed that all Taiwan’s fishing vessels fishing in the area of competence of IOTC were authorized by the government,with due provision of the list of fishing vessels to IOTC. With respect to Greenpeace’s wrongful publicity of information without verification,misleading the public and undermining the reputation of Taiwan’s fishing industry,the Fisheries Agency expressed its regret.
The Fisheries Agency expressed that for the 25 fishing vessels in Mauritius so alleged by Greenpeace as not on IOTC’s list of fishing vessels of 2017 or 2018,after verification by the Fisheries Agency,the result is as follows:
- 1. The 15 fishing vessels,namely “Kha Yang 399”,“Cheng Qing Feng 8”,“Fwu Tsair Yih 2”,“Ding Yang”,“Hsin Ming Sheng 18”,“Hsin Ming Sheng 28”,“Tenn Ming Yang 368”,“Chen Yi Fa 6”,“Mann Yu Feng 1”,“Man Yo Shun”,“An Wen Fa 26”,“Cheng Qing Feng 6”,“Hung Jie Wei 669”,“Hung Jie Wei 8”,and “Yi Feng 168”,were all authorized by the Fisheries Agency for fishing in the Indian Ocean,whose name list was provided to IOTC,and no situation so described by Greenpeace as not on IOTC’s list of fishing vessels occurred.
- 2. There are no vessels in Taiwan under the names of “An Wen Fa 3”,“An Wen Fa 6”,“An Wen Fa 168”,“An Wen Fa 16”,“An Wen Fa 1”,“Shen Lian Fa 36”,“Shen Lian Fa 338”,“Hung Je Wei 36”,“Jha Yang 2” and “Jha Yang 6”. While there are vessels under similar names,for example,“An Wun Fa 6” instead of “An Wen Fa 6”. With correct spelling,these vessels should all be authorized by the Fisheries Agency for fishing in the Indian Ocean,and their name list was provided to the IOTC accordingly. It is possible that Greenpeace has made mistakes in copying down the vessel names. Greenpeace pointed out that photographs of vessel names were taken and crosschecked. The Fisheries Agency expressed that Greenpeace has not provided such photos,and will request Greenpeace for further verification.
The Fisheries Agency further expressed that in recent years Mauritius has been strictly implementing Port State Management Measures,and exercising electronic Port State Management measures according to IOTC regulations. As such,any foreign fishing vessels(including Taiwan fishing vessels) applying for entering its ports are required to possess legal and valid fishing authorization,and be listed on IOTC’s list of authorized fishing vessels,before port entry. Therefore,it is unlikely that there were so many vessels that were not on IOTC’s vessel list,entering its port without being detected.
The Fisheries Agency finally expressed that in line with international efforts in combating illegal,unreported and unregulated(IUU) fishing activities,Taiwan has established the Distant Water Fisheries Act,for strengthening various monitoring and control management measures,for strict control of the activities of distant water fishing vessels in the three major oceans. According to the Act,any Taiwanese fishing vessel not duly authorized and listed on the vessel lists of the relevant regional fisheries management organizations,and found fishing in such ocean area,is considered to have committed a serious violation,and is liable to a maximum fine of NT$30 million,along with revocation of its fishing license. The Fisheries Agency welcomes any organization or individual that cares for sustainability of fisheries reporting alleged violations of such vessels,while careful verification should be made,to avoid provision of incorrect information,thus jeopardizing the image of our country as well as undermining the right of lawful fishermen.
Contact person:Kuo-Ping Lin,Deputy Director-General