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Patagonian toothfish: Fighting illegal fishing and protecting albatross

by Stephanie Good
12 years since Prince Charles wrote of his concerned for toothfish and albatross much has changed.
South Georgia Patagonian toothfish

Prince Charles’ letters, released yesterday, refer to the need to protect Patagonian toothfish. But what is so important about this creature and how have things changed since Prince Charles wrote of its plight to the then environment minister in October 2004?

Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, lives in the cold waters of the Atlantic and sub-Antarctic. This slow growing fish generally lives for up to 24 years and grows to over two meters in length. It’s a species of huge ecological importance, but also supports fishing communities throughout Southern America and the Antarctic islands who fish it commercially for markets in USA, EU and Japan.

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Tackling illegal fishing one certificate at a time

Marine Stewardship Council Standards director David Agnew talks about the MSC's stance on the issue of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.
Coast Guard ship on horizon at dusk

Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (known as IUU fishing) is a major global problem which undermines the international community’s efforts to protect oceans for a sustainable future.

Estimated to be worth some $10-23.5 billion annually, IUU fishing damages the livelihoods of legitimate fishing operations and communities. In some parts of the world, total catches are estimated to be up to 40% higher than reported catches. Such levels of exploitation severely hamper the sustainable management of the marine ecosystem. IUU fishing covers a wide range of activities: non-compliance with regulations, non-reporting of catch, unregulated activity in high seas waters, and “fish piracy” – fishing without licences.

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