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Date: Fri, 23 May 97 08:51:07 CDT
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Fish Piracy A Threat To Marine Treaty
/** headlines: 175.0 **/
** Topic: Fish Piracy A Threat To Marine Treaty **
** Written 6:12 PM May 22, 1997 by econet in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 11:20 PM May 19, 1997 by kuma@cyberway.com.sg in list.ar-news */

From: Vadivu Govind <kuma@cyberway.com.sg>
Subject: (NZ) Fish piracy threat to marine treaty
South China Morning Post
Tuesday May 20 1997

Fish piracy threat to marine treaty


The lure of big profits from a newly discovered Southern Ocean fish stock is threatening an environmental convention set up to protect Antarctica's marine life, says New Zealand Associate Foreign Minister Simon Upton.

Addressing 260 delegates attending the 21st Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, Mr Upton said fishing piracy of the valuable Patagonian toothfish might be only "the tip of the exploitation iceberg".

Toothfish, marketed in Japan as mero can fetch between US$5,000 (HK$38,650) and US$7,000 per tonne. The fish stock was only recently revealed when the United States declassified satellite photos originally taken to help its submarines hide in the cold waters.

A fleet of mainly reflagged European boats has headed south to exploit the species, and France has already arrested a number of boats in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around Kerguelen Island.

There are fears the illegal fleet, now estimated to be up to 70 boats strong, is plundering the Australian EEZ around Heard Island, knowing that at 4,000 kilometres southwest of Perth, it is effectively beyond the range of Australian patrols.

Antarctic Treaty officials have described pirate fishing of the fish stocks in Antarctic seas as a blatant challenge to the credibility of the 1982 Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The Tasmanian-based subordinate body of the Antarctic Treaty is supposed to control fishing in biologically rich Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters, south of the convergence of Southern Ocean currents.

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