28 July 2021
During the formal Legislative Council meeting on Friday, 30 July 2021, The Fisheries Bill 2021, will be discussed. If the Bill is passed by Council, it will replace the St Helena Fishery Limits Ordinance of 1977.
At the start of the Blue Belt Programme on St Helena and the setting of fisheries management priorities, it was identified that it was necessary to reform St Helena’s fisheries law in a number of areas to improve the regulation of fishing and related activities within St Helena’s fisheries limits.
The health of our oceans is becoming an increasing concern, and people are more aware of their impact and ecological footprint than ever before. The Fisheries Bill, 2021, is informed by St Helena’s fisheries management and fishing licensing policy and provides a framework for modern regulation of fishing and related activities within St Helena’s fisheries limits. The Bill supports and promotes St Helena’s responsible management of its valuable marine resources to preserve these for future generations.
Portfolio Director for Environment, Natural Resources & Planning, Darren Duncan said:
“I am extremely pleased we have been able to present a Bill that assists us to better regulate St Helena’s fisheries as part of delivering an improved regulatory framework for our Marine Protected Area. It underpins new policy we have sought to embed as part of reforms for fisheries management, licensing and fishing activities and provides the necessary enforcement powers to protect our fishery resources to manage their long-term sustainability for the benefit of all users and interest groups both now and in the future.
“Thanks are extended to all who have played a part in the Bill reaching this stage of the legislative process and enabled dedicated resources to this particular legislative work stream.”
St Helena has a long tradition of sustainable fishing using ‘one-by-one methods’ – the only tuna fishing methods that are internationally considered to be environmentally responsible, truly sustainable, and based on generations of tradition.
In 2016, St Helena Government, the then St Helena Fisheries Corporation and local fishers partnered with the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) to establish a one-by-one only tuna fishing zone out to 200nm, shielding a vast ocean area from harmful fishing activities and providing valuable protection for our low-impact and socially responsible fishery.
This partnership has been working to ensure that policies are adopted and implemented to ban all destructive fishing gear and strengthen monitoring, and surveillance and enforcement activities to prevent illegal fishing. The project also establishes best-practice for the traceability of fish catch, enhances quality of fish catch, and strengthens data recording systems.
The Fisheries Bill, 2021, is a result of the aspirations of a range of fisheries stakeholders to support responsible fishing and it aims to greatly benefit St Helena in the long term.
If the Bill is passed, St Helena’s new legislation will explicitly only allow the use of one-by-one tuna fishing gear and methods in its waters. This will not only support future market opportunities supplying responsibly harvested St Helena tuna to high value markets, it will also help meet consumers’ growing demand for transparency and their desire to only purchase ethically and responsibly sourced seafood. By responsibly managing our fisheries, broader ecosystems will also be protected from the damage caused by destructive fishing gear, preventing ghost fishing, habitat damage, and pollution.
#StHelena #IPNLF #BlueBelt #SustainableFisheries #OnebyOne #ChooseYourTuna #ReimagineTuna
28 July 2021