SPAIN – The 36th Annual Meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) closed 26 September in Vigo, Spain. The 12 members of NAFO were presented with comprehensive scientific advice regarding the protection of deep sea ecosystems as well as the conservation of fish stocks in the NAFO Convention Area. NAFO agreed to close two new areas to protect deep-sea ecosystems such as coldwater corals, sponge and seapen ecosystems, but did not adopt the full suite of recommendations to protect sites identified by its scientists as high priorities.
Fortunately, however, NAFO did agree to renew the area closures adopted at previous meetings and which were set to expire in December of this year, for an additional six years.
“We’re hearing from scientists that we know more about deep sea ecosystems in the NAFO area than anywhere else in the world and yet some NAFO members refused to move forward on protecting these ecosystems,” said Susanna Fuller of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
“We see NAFO as a global leader in implementing the ecosystem approach to managing fisheries but we are disappointed that NAFO countries have not made more progress on meeting their UN commitments at this year’s meeting.”
While Norway, Canada, the United States and Iceland supported the adoption of protection measures for all deep-sea areas identified by NAFO scientists as priority areas in need of protection, most members were willing to support closing only some of the areas. Japan and Russia opposed any new area closures to protect deep-sea ecosystems but proposals to close two new areas were put to a vote and adopted by NAFO by a vote of 9-2. Moreover, NAFO did agree to extend existing area closures until 2020.
In addition, Norway, showed particular leadership in calling for full closure of seamount areas to bottom fishing and unregulated fishing.
Several years ago NAFO agreed to ‘close’ seamounts to bottom fishing to protect their biodiversity but unregulated fishing continues on seamounts in the NAFO area under an “exploratory fishing” loophole in the regulation. Unfortunately, Norway’s proposal was not supported by the other members of NAFO.
All NAFO members have repeatedly committed to protecting deep-sea ecosystems from the harmful impacts of deep-sea fishing, particularly bottom trawl fishing, through a series of resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly since 2004. As a result, NAFO has closed a number of areas to bottom fishing over the past decade.
This year NAFO scheduled a review of the extent to which the area closures adopted to date provide sufficient protection to deep-sea ecosystems. As part of the review, the NAFO Scientific Council provided concrete recommendations on additional areas in need of protection.
Protection from fishing activity is important for seafloor biodiversity on the high seas but, these areas are not necessarily protected from other human activity, including oil and gas development and seabed mining. Coordination across governance organizations is needed to ensure that protections put in place by one regulatory authority, in this case NAFO, are respected by all regulatory authorities with the mandate to manage activities on the high seas.
“We were pleased to see continued momentum to protect sensitive deep-sea areas from the harmful impacts of bottom trawling” said Katie Schleit from the Ecology Action Centre. “However, NAFO has not finished the job.
All identified areas must be protected from destructive fishing practices if NAFO members are to live up to their international commitments.”
The DSCC and the EAC also note that NAFO failed to adhere scientific advice in a some cases regarding fishing quotas in the NAFO Regulatory Area.
While scientific advice to close the shrimp fishery was followed, it was ignored in setting the quota for fishing for cod on the Flemish Cap – an area approximately 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
In addition, NAFO failed to adopt the “fins naturally attached” measure to prevent the practice of shark fining.
“We got a mixed bag at NAFO this year,” said Schleit. “While we’d like to congratulate NAFO for the partial progress made on protecting a number of deep-sea areas, and steps forward on data reporting and reduction of bycatch, we still need to see closer adherence to scientific advice on a range of issues and more effective implementation of NAFO members’ UN commitments.”
TheFishSite News Desk
Again a wonderful day in Quebec. For most guests it was change over day, I believe that only a handful are doing a back to back and those are lucky. Having a hotel parked in the center of the City with such nice weather, what else can you ask for?
The city itself saw it the same way and all day long there was a never ending stream of Quebecois walking past the ship.
The ship is shielded from the rest of the town by a Gate but it is close enough to have everybody wandering by and having a good look at the ship. To not endanger this boulevard experience, the Guest terminal is set further inland and Guests walk through a Sky-Bridge over this public right of way to the ship when coming and going. In this way the security gurus are satisfied and their checklists filled out to general approval and the locals can still enjoy the water front.
It was however interesting to see how it went with the luggage.
The luggage is loaded in the terminal in bins and then transported by a forklift to the ship. There is a moment of a tense security situation every time when a forklift has to cross the foot and bike path. In order to stay within ISPS (International Ship and Port Security) requirements two security guards were in attendance to stop the traffic by means of two ropes which block off the traffic, and thus create a pathway for the forklift to safely drive through.
It seemed that this was advanced Security in progress as a more senior security guard was providing training on how to handle the ropes. I had a hard time understanding this but he managed to get it wrong one time and a bike was stuck between the two ropes right in the way of the oncoming forklift. I was phoning my wife at the time from the outside deck and could give a running commentary all the way to England.
With a combined bike and foot path, there are other dangers.
Roller skaters, tandem bikes, extended bikes (the ones you can hook up your child to the back part to teach them how to bike) and motorized wheel chairs. It did not take long before a pedestrian had to jump aside for a bike who was evading a rollerblader. A mobility scooter then had to break for the pedestrian and behind there was another scooter and yes we had a bump.
Nothing serious , no damage, no injuries, but two upset seniors providing entertainment free of charge. A pity that there was nobody on the ship to watch all this as well. I could not stay very long as I as had to move cabins.
The office blocks cabins for people like me but the one assigned had such a small desk that I did not even have room for my two laptops. Thus I had arranged for an empty Guest cabin last week. However they get sold and thus I had to move.
It seems there was a no-show today so another cabin was available.
Training today included the people from Club HAL our Youth Program Coordinators. In our safety procedures children take up a special position. They create more panic among the guests than anything else.
So our procedures are geared towards:
- Keeping the parents calm when little Johnny is missing. Yes, we have a search protocol.
- Avoid that Parents start looking themselves. – No, you will never find him.
- Ensure that when little Johnny is found, that he remains under the control of a crewmember until he can be re-united with his parents or legal guardian.
As the Club HAL team is of course the prime target when a child is missing; we spend time on how to deal with that. The children themselves are not a panic issue.
They tend to view everything as one big adventure. They only get apprehensive, emotional and start to cry when they sense vibes of Fear or Anxiousness coming from surrounding adults.
Today we had the Silver Whisper in port with us and we were docked stern to stern. She will sail at 1800 hrs.
and then be replaced tomorrow morning by the Crystal Serenity.
There is also a Celebrity ship expected which will go to the side dock but I have not found her name yet.
Security upgrades at a troubled youth detention center in Nashville were not enough to prevent 13 teenagers from escaping Friday night, marking the third major disturbance this month.
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services spokesman Rob Johnson said several teens overpowered a guard at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center at about 11 p.m. on Friday. They took the guard’s radio and keys and let themselves out of a dormitory.
All but one were recaptured within hours.
The breakout was the latest in a series of problems that have alarmed Tennessee authorities, including a mass breakout by 32 teens on Sept.
1. The state has since begun conducting a review of youth detention security in the state.
Security improvements since the Sept.
1 breakout include securing the bottom of the fence that surrounds the facility in concrete. Workers also have reinforced aluminum panels under the dormitory windows that the teens were able to kick out during the first escape.
“A lot of shortcomings were exposed after that first breakout,” Johnson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “They’ve been working hard and fast and have made a lot of improvements, but there’s still more work to do.”
Johnson said Friday’s breakout began while a guardhouse was empty and that guard was out checking the perimeter.
According to the official, the teens smashed the guardhouse window with a rock and one went through the broken window and opened the gate for the others.
The guard who was overpowered in the dormitory was treated and released from a local hospital, Johnson said. Another worker also was injured, but not seriously.
Within hours of the breakout, Nashville’s Metro police and Tennessee Highway Patrol officers had regained custody of all but one youth, a 16 year old. The recaptured teens were taken to the juvenile court detention center.
The 52 other teens being held at the Woodland Hills complex remained calm during the disturbance, Johnson added.
Thirty-two teenagers escaped from the same center on the night of Sept.
1. Two days later, riots broke out on the grounds of the facility, with teens brandishing fire extinguishers and sticks.
Johnson said many of the teens who participated in Friday night’s breakout were involved in the previous disturbances. Two of the teens who escaped in the earlier breakout remain at large.
The Woodland Hills center has a history of violent clashes, breakout attempts and attacks on guards.
The recent problems have shed light on the difficulty of maintaining order at a center where most of the 14- to 19-year-olds have committed at least three felonies and the challenges faced by Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services in trying to fix the issues.
In an interview earlier this month, DCS Commissioner Jim Henry said policies were being reviewed to see if guards could be given weapons such as stun guns to help control unruly detainees.
Currently, he had said, guards do not carry weapons and must rely on talking with the inmates to quell disturbances.
However, some lawmakers in Tennessee have said that’s not enough.
They want the state to reopen a facility closed in 2012, Taft Youth Development Center, which primarily housed older, more violent offenders.
They say the inmates at Taft were transferred to Woodland Hills, which then saw a spike in assaults.