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Biden is targeting China with a new illegal fishing policy framework

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Barry Hatton and Joshua Goodman

Lisbon, Portugal (AP) —The Biden administration strengthens China's efforts to combat illegal fishing and is better for federal agencies Ordering coordination, among themselves and with foreign partners, to promote the sustainable development of the world's oceans.

On Monday, the White House issued its first national security memo on illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing, or IUU in time for the start of the United Nations Marine Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Announced.

According to the federal agency, the European Parliament Committee on International Trade, about 11% ($ 2.4 billion worth) of total US seafood imports in 2019 are illegal and unreported. , Due to unregulated fishing.

China has not been named within a long policy framework, but the words in it left little doubt as to where it was directed. This memo must irritate Beijing as geopolitical competition between the two countries intensifies. China is a major fish processor and, through national financing and fuel subsidies, has built the world's largest pelagic fishing fleet with thousands of surface fisheries in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Specifically, this memo will better share information with 21 federal ministries, coordinate enforcement measures such as sanctions and visa restrictions, and promote best practices among international allies. I am instructing you to.

Also, a new rule from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration extends the definition of illegal fishing to include the abuse of workers involved, and is the first to the final blacklist. It will be a step forward. Non-compliant flag state.

Conservation groups praised efforts based on work initiated under the Obama administration to clean up the US seafood supply chain.

"American fishermen must obey many rules and regulations of the U.S. government," said Beth Lowell, vice president of Washington-based nonprofit Oceana. increase. "By taking action against other countries such as China, which have poor labor and environmental records, it leveles the competition and benefits legitimate fishermen around the world."

The Action Plan also calls for the expansion of the US Fisheries Import Monitoring Program. Under this program, importers are currently targeting only about 12 species of illegally caught fish in the United States. Groups like Oceana are promoting programs that cover all imports.

"Until the United States keeps all seafood imports at the same standards as fish caught in the United States, illegally procured seafood will continue to be sold with legal catches." Lowell said.

The Action Plan also does not provide additional resources for enforcing the laws already on the books.

"The fight against the IUU fishery consumes a lot of resources," said Evan Bloom, a former State Department employee who has negotiated several international fishery agreements and is now a senior researcher at the Wilson Center in Washington. Says. "Whether the United States is actually doing more may depend on whether NOAA is spending more money on enforcement efforts, information gathering, and inspections."

In Lisbon, where officials and scientists from more than 120 countries were attending a five-day meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres identified several countries he did not identify. I saw and criticized it. Not for the needs of the whole planet, but for their own economic interests.

"The high seas are ours," Guterres insisted, referring to all the inhabitants of the planet.

The United Nations hopes that this conference will give new momentum to the protracted efforts for a global maritime agreement that covers the conservation efforts of the high seas. The ocean covers about 70% of the earth's surface and provides food and livelihoods to billions of people. Some activists call them the largest unregulated areas on the planet.

What is known as the Convention on the High Seas is being negotiated within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This is a major international agreement governing marine activity.

But after 10 years of talks on the treaty, the deal is not yet visible, as it was three months ago. The fifth round is scheduled for August in New York.

"The world's largest ecosystem ... is not yet protected and is dying as we see it," said Ocean Rebellion, a group of activists.

Guterres said there was "significant progress" towards the Convention on the High Seas and the world was at a "decisive moment" for the future of the sea.

"We need to put pressure on people to make decisions," Guterres said, urging people to speak out.

Ocean threats include carbon pollution, heavy plastic pollution, and warming and acidification due to other problems, the United Nations says. There are also no rules for potentially harmful deep sea mining.

The conference was also held at the last summit in Nairobi, Kenya in 2018, from the protection of island nations by the marine economy to the fight against sustainable fishing and warming. It is expected to reaffirm and build about 62 commitments. Body of water. Bystander at the

event, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is new to $ 50 million to reach his goal of protecting 30% of the Earth's land and sea by 2030. Announced the grant. % Of the ocean is zoned as a marine protected area.

More than half of the funds donated by the Bezos Earth Fun will help strengthen the Eastern Tropical Ocean Corridor operating in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama. At last year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, four countries united to announce the creation of a Spanish-scale marine protected area, including environmental hotspots such as the Galapagos Islands.

US Climate Envoy John Kerry and French President Emmanuel Macron among those who attended the event.


All climate coverage of the Associated Press in Goodman


reported by Cleveland, Ohio Track-

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