It is generally acknowledged in the academic and NGO world that small-scale fisheries are for the most part more sustainable than industrial-scale fisheries; unfortunately they have been forgotten and their potential ignored as policy-makers have struggled to make industrial fisheries more sustainable.

The International Maritime Organisation's Antifouling System Convention entered into force today, some seven years after its adoption.

The Convention, which bans the use of Tributyltin (TBT) based antifouling paints globally, and contains a regime for restricting the use of other harmful antifouling paint technologies, met the requirement of ratification by 25 States representing 25% of the world's shipping tonnage last year. The Convention was adopted in London in October 2001 but the ratification process has been slow with the first of the large flag States (Panama) only ratifying in 2007. The Convention has now been ratified by 34 States representing 53% of the world's merchant shipping tonnage.

The EU’s Council of Fisheries Ministers yesterday agreed an emergency response to the fuel price “crisis” that has the right aims but includes too many potentially counter-productive measures.

After a race against the clock the European Commission put together the package of emergency measures endorsed by the Council. It is not clear why after months of raising fuel prices, all of a sudden the measures had to be rushed through Council before the summer break. Such haste resulted in the adoption of measures that will relieve the fishing sector in the short term, but will probably back-fire in the long term.

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