NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Ireland has pledged €32 million in fresh funding for the fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing beginning next year.
According to a commitment made at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference which concluded Wednesday, the funding will be used to acquire three Pilatus 12 aircraft to boost the patrolling ability of the North Atlantic nation.
Under the current year, Ireland completed a €250 million naval vessel replacement programme and acquired two marine patrol aircraft in part of its undertaking to enhance maritime and fisheries surveillance.
Further to the new €32 million commitment, the Ireland delegation led by Pat Breen, Minister for Trade, Business, and Employment, committed €1.5 million to upgrade its naval service technology infrastructure to support its fisheries protection programme.
The commitment by Ireland is among pledges made to tackle IUU vessels that have been blamed for overexploitation of fish stock in the ocean, a practice which if left unchallenged could result in the extinction of endangered fish species.
Canada pledged over $20 million in revitalised global efforts aimed at eliminating IUU fishing.
The commitment included $10 million funding for the development of satellite-based technologies to track down suspected illegal fishing vehicles, Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard announced on Wednesday.
Canada, which has co-hosted the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference with Kenya and Japan having funded the three-day event that kicked off on Monday to the tune of Sh300 million, also announced a $1.6 million fund to support intelligence sharing with ocean-facing countries.
“We’ll focus on building stronger public-private partnerships to address IUU fishing. Presently we’re investing $10 million to support the development and deployment of satellite-based technologies that can identify and track suspected IUU vehicles,” he said during the closing session of the Blue Economy Conference.
“We’re working with other countries to share regional fisheries intelligence and we’re committing up to $1.6 million for western and central Pacific countries to share information and develop tools to eliminate IUU vessels in their waters,” he added.
Wilkinson said Canada had set aside $9.5 million to help boost scientific capacity in ocean research.
The funding, he said, will facilitate formulation of policies geared and enhancing efficiency and sustainability in the ocean economy sector.
“The funding will enhance scientific capacity in ocean research and observation and today, we make a commitment to lead in the development of a platform for sharing data and practices in sustainable fishing management,” Wilkinson announced.
Kenya undertook to ensure safety and security in the high seas in a commitment aimed at promoting global trade and unhindered connectivity.
The government’s commitment also included an undertaking to combat IUU through heightened surveillance by the newly formed Coast Guard Service.
In her comments at the closing session, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma noted the strides made at the conference saying the commitment will go a long way in efforts to re-calibrate the sea ecosystem and avert the extinction of endangered species.
“If we do not take argent measure we could spell doom for humanity and that is why we’re delighted to have convened all stakeholders to discuss these matters,” she said.
“We hope Nairobi begins to build the bloc for a global consensus for action to save humanity in the future,” the CS noted.
Over 62 commitments were made in the broad areas on marine protection, plastics and waste management, fisheries protection, marine safety and security, and financing.