Sunday, March 4, 2012

Russian trawler cited for illegal fishing 2 tonnes of Grand Banks cod

The latest illegal fishing citation issued to a foreign trawler on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland was recorded on Dec. 27, when the Novaya Zemlya, a Russian Federation vessel, was caught with 2 tonnes of cod on board.

The Russian Federation had caught its 647-tonne cod quota by April last year, and the cod fishery was closed at the time the citation was issued.

It will be interesting to see what penalty is imposed against the Russian trawler, although such information is hard to come by.

Under NAFO rules, it’s up to the home country of a foreign trawler cited with illegal fishing to actually enforce penalties.

In the past, DFO has refused to reveal the penalties imposed by foreign countries against trawlers cited for illegal fishing, saying the release of such information could damage “international relations.”

Which obviously trump Newfoundland and Labrador relations.

DFO maintains a website that lists all citations against foreign fishing vessels under the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), which oversees fishing outside Canada’s 200-mile limit.

Last September, I revealed that the website hadn’t been operated in a year, shortly after which DFO resumed listing foreign fishing citations.

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