Seoul, July 2, 2013 – In response to news that the Korean National Assembly has amended its fisheries law to help curb illegal fishing (1), Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner Jiehyun Park made the following statement:
"These new provisions finally start addressing the huge and embarrassing problem of illegal fishing by South Korea's fleets. But South Korea still has a long way to go and we will be keeping a close watch to ensure more progressive legislation is introduced without delay to address both illegal fishing and the need to manage fisheries sustainably."
"South Korea must ensure sustainable fisheries management both at home and abroad, where it participates in regional fisheries negotiations. Its track record is at odds with conservation measures and science and precautionary principles. Changes are desperately needed to ensure sufficient fish for all, including South Korea’s fishing fleets."
Greenpeace urges the Seoul government to ensure its regulations are in line with international requirements and best practices. Further legislation needs to be introduced and strictly implemented to ensure there is transparent traceability and chain of custody on products from all South Korean vessels to the markets.
Notes: 1. The amendment to South Korea's Water Fisheries Act, passed by the Korean National Assembly today, increases penalties for illegal fishing to a maximum of three times the value of the fish caught, up from the current fine of US$5,000. It also includes provisions for imprisonment, while industries involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, or mistreating their fishing crews, will lose their government subsidies under the new legislation.
Contact: Jiehyun Park, Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner in Seoul, +82 17 511 4377 ,