Greenpeace blocks S. Korean vessel

Greenpeace has blocked the departure of 'Insung 3' Greenpeace has blocked the departure of 'Insung 3'
Industry Database

Greenpeace is protesting against South Korea's "lack of control over its illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) activities" by blocking the departure of fishing vessel 'Insung 3' from Busan.

Greenpeace campaigners have chained the propeller of the South Korean fishing vessel, which along with its sister ship Insung No. 7 is included in the Greenpeace blacklist of IUU fishing vessels. The organisation has also deployed a banner that reads, ‘Loss of National Reputation = 30 Days?’, referring to the vessel’s recent 30 day business suspension.

Greenpeace says that this action protests the government's weak penalties for the vessel’s ongoing illegal activities, and its poor management and supervision system of the distant water industry. The government recently imposed a fine of just 1.5 million won (approx. US$1360), business suspension of 30 days and confiscation of verified illegal catch on the vessel. The government also issued a catch certificate prior to the IUU investigation, which Greenpeace says effectively created a loophole for the illegal catch to enter the market.

"The illegal fishing activities of distant water fisheries operators cause irreparable damage to South Korea’s reputation, and potential loss to its markets of more than 100 billion won. We urge the government to strengthen measures to prevent IUU fishing," said Kim Nahee, Greenpeace ocean campaigner.

Greenpeace presented the South Korean government with a proposal to reform the Distant Water Fisheries Act (Ocean Industry Development Act) in June. The "Recommendations on Proposed Amendment to the Distant Water Fisheries Act,” urges South Korea to improve eight measures, including introducing effective legal procedures to target owners of fisheries operations, creating systems to implement monitoring, control and surveillance regulations, strengthening punishments to offset any commercial benefit from IUU fishing, and securing the human and financial resources necessary to implement the changes in policy.

Han Jeonghee, Greenpeace ocean campaigner said that monitoring, control and surveillance measures seem to have been strengthened, but full elimination of IUU fishing activities can be ensured only by completely removing loopholes. She demanded the government amend the existing Act, stating, "With the U.S. and Europe ready to designate the country an illegal fishing nation, all eyes are on South Korea. Korea should turn this crisis into an opportunity to upgrade its control and management system to a level that meets international standards and work to become a leader in the international ocean fisheries industry."  

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