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G2S2 Lecture – Dr. Dustin Kuan-Hsiung Wang : Sustainable Fishery Resources Management

By 07/25/2019No Comments

07/12/2019? International Law and Global Governance in Asia
Lecture Topic: Sustainable Fishery Resources Management
Class taken by Dr. Dustin Kuan-Hsiung Wang
Dr. Wang’s lecture centers on the regulations and governance of fishing in the high seas. Fishing is one of the most important and earliest activities for human beings. Since fish stocks in the high seas are common resources, users compete over the shared resources causing depletion of the fish stock.
The issue of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a threat to sustainable fishery that can be addressed through international law and global governance, according to Dr. Wang. He defines IUU fishing as activities conducted in violation of national laws or internationally agreed conservation and management measures of oceans around the world. Illegal fishing pertains to unlawful ways of catching fish through cyanide poisoning, dynamite fishing, bottom trawling, and the like. Unreported fishing occurs when fishing vessels fail to report or misreport their fish yield; while unregulated fishing refers to practices done by vessels without nationality, vessels flying the flag of states not party to a certain organization, or by a fishing entity that violate conservation and management agreements. Therefore, Dr. Wang argues that international organizations, particularly regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs), serve as the best forum for bridging law and governance to effectively prevent, deter, and combat IUU fishing.
Moreover, Dr. Wang explains that IUU fishing is a serious challenge for it leads to unfair competition, damages the food chain, and may cause the extinction of certain species. Despite the many legal measures in place and RFMOs in existence, IUU fishing activities persist and Asia is no exception. Thus, Dr. Wang believes that it is time for members of the international society to change their perception by promoting sustainable fisheries. He said that instead of asserting their right to fish, it is high time for the international society to do something right by being responsible users of common resources in the high seas.