HIGH SEAS DRIFTNETTING:
THE PLUNDER OF THE GLOBAL COMMONS

A Compendium
Revised Edition
May 1994

Linda M.B. Paul, MS JD

EarthTrust

Windward Environmental Center
1118 Maunawili Road
Kailua, HI 96734 USA
(808) 263-5339
FAX: (815) 333-1158
E-mail: EarthTrust


TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

MAJOR POINTS

INTRODUCTION

INTERNATIONAL LAW GOVERNING DRIFTNET FISHING ON THE HIGH SEAS

Introduction
UNCLOS, Customary International Law, and States Practice
United Nations General Assembly Resolutions

UN Resolution 44/225
UN Resolution 46/215

The Response to the UN Driftnet Moratorium

The South Pacific States' Response
The South American States' Response
The United States' Response
The Canadian Response
The Response from Japan
The Response from the Republic of Korea
The Response from Taiwan
The Response from the Peoples' Republic of China
The European Community Response
The Response from South Africa

Driftnet Fishing as an Abuse of the Global Commons


HISTORY OF DRIFTNET FISHERIES IN OPERATION

The North Pacific Squid Driftnet Fishery

Participants and Target Species
Driftnet Characteristics
Areas and Seasons
Vessels and Crew
Operations
The Catch and By-Catch
Management


The North Pacific Large-Mesh Driftnet Fishery

Participants and Target Species
Large-Mesh Driftnet Characteristics
Areas and Seasons
Vessels and Crew
Operations
The Catch and By-Catch
Management


The South Pacific Large-Mesh Driftnet Fisheries

Participants and Target Species
Large-Mesh Driftnet Characteristics
Areas and Seasons
Vessels and Crew
The Catch and By-Catch
Management


The North Pacific Salmon Driftnet Fisheries

Introduction
Target Species
Participants
Salmon Driftnet Characteristics
Areas and Seasons
Vessels and Crew
The Catch and By-Catch
Management


The Indian Ocean Large-Mesh Driftnet Fishery

Participants, Target Species, and Vessels
Driftnet Characteristics
Areas and Seasons
The Catch and By-Catch
Management


The Atlantic Ocean Driftnet Fisheries

The North Atlantic
The Mediterranean
The Central Atlantic
The South Atlantic


THE PROBLEM OF WASTE: DROPOUTS, GHOSTFISHING AND THE BY-CATCH

The Dropout Problem
Ghostfishing
The By-Catch

Seabirds
Marine mammals
Turtles
Sharks


SUFFICIENT DATA EXISTS TO SUPPORT A BAN ON DRIFTNET FISHING

DRIFTNET DATA COLLECTION PROGRAMS 1952--1990

The North Pacific Salmon Driftnet Fishery
The South Pacific Large-Mesh Driftnet Fisheries

Data Collected by Australia and New Zealand
Data Collected by Japan
Catch Data from a Virgin Waters Driftnet Fishery Experiment

The North Pacific Large-Mesh Driftnet Fisheries
The North Pacific Squid Driftnet Fishery

Single Nation Research Cruises
Joint Research Cruises
Observers on Commercial Driftnet Vessels


THE NORTH PACIFIC JOINT OBSERVER PROGRAM - 1989--1991

The 1989 North Pacific Joint Observer Program

Introduction
Methods
Results


The 1990 North Pacific Joint Observer Program

Introduction
The Japanese Squid Fishery - Methods
The Japanese Squid Fishery - Results
The Japanese Squid Fishery - Analysis and Implications
The Republic of Korea Squid Fishery - Methods
The Republic of Korea Squid Fishery - Results and Analysis
The Taiwanese Squid and Large-Mesh Fisheries - Methods
The Taiwanese Squid Fishery - Results
The Taiwanese Large-Mesh Fishery - Results
The Taiwanese Squid and Large-Mesh Fisheries - Analysis
The 1990-91 Japanese Large-Mesh Fishery - Methods
The 1990-91 Japanese Large-Mesh Fishery - Results
The 1990-91 Japanese Large-Mesh Fishery - Analysis


The 1991 North Pacific Joint Observer Program

The Japanese Squid Fishery - Introduction and Methods
The Japanese Squid Fishery - Results and Analysis
The Republic of Korea Squid Fishery - Introduction and Methods
The Republic of Korea Squid Fishery - Results
The Taiwanese Squid and Large-Mesh Fisheries - Intro and Methods
The Taiwanese Squid Fishery - Results
The Taiwanese Large-Mesh Fishery - Results


Analysis of the Data Collection Programs through 1990


IMPACT OF DRIFTNET FISHING ON THE OCEANIC ECOSYSTEM

Introduction
Fishery, Biological, and Ecological Data Requirements


THE BIG BUSINESS OF DRIFTNET FISHING

Driftnet Fleet Ownership and Control

Japan
The Republic of Korea
Taiwan

Processing the Catch
Canned Tuna - Exports and Imports
The Black Market for Salmon


CAN DRIFTNET FISHERIES BE MANAGED?

Fishery Management Requirements
Driftnet Gear Modification Studies
Time and Area Closures


THE IMPACT OF DRIFTNET FISHING ON SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES

Introduction
The North Pacific Albacore Fishery - A Case History

The Participants
The Target Species
The Fishing Season
Albacore Trolling Operations
The Catch

The North Atlantic Salmon Fisheries
The North Pacific Salmon Fisheries


THE ENFORCEMENT PROBLEM

Introduction
Practical Problems of Enforcement
Examples of Unethical Reporting Practices
Illegal Fishing Activity and Enforcement Efforts
Violations of the International North Pacific Fishing Agreements
Illegal Driftnet Fishing in the South Pacific
Illegal Driftnet Fishing in the Indian Ocean


INTERNATIONAL LAW PROHIBITING DEPREDATION OF THE HIGH SEAS

Piracy Against the Global Commons
Human Rights Abuses by Driftnet Fleet Owners
Mandates from International Conventions, Resolutions, Conferences


CONCLUSION

ENDNOTES

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

REFERENCES


EarthTrust

Windward Environmental Center
1118 Maunawili Road
Kailua, HI 96734 USA
(808) 261-5339
FAX: (815) 333-1158
E-mail: EarthTrust

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