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Global piracy offensive launched

A new database of registered fishing vessels is being launched to improve regulation on the high seas
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

A global database of fishing boats is to be built in a bid to control the number of illegal fishing expeditions. The High Seas Task Force (HSTF), whose members include the World Conservation Union, the WWF and a number of governments including the UK's, today released a report calling for a crackdown on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

It said a public database of high seas fishing fleets — called the High Seas Fishing Vessel Information System — would improve vessel-monitoring systems and promote better sharing of data between governments.

Ben Bradshaw, UK marine and fisheries minister, in a statement said: "Without immediate action by the international community against IUU fishing, there will continue to be a major impact on fish stocks, the marine environment and economies around the world.

"The initiatives identified by this report can be rapidly implemented by members and like-minded states. I believe that by working together we can stop this environmental destruction and help poorer countries." IUU fishing is one of the main obstacles to sustainable world fisheries, the HSTF said.

The HSTF has urged governments to spend more money on training and technology to improve communication between fishing authorities.

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