This document summarises French observations of illegal fishing for the past year and reports on implementation of the CCAMLR Inspection System. It includes an analysis of developments in this domain and proposes ways in which the fight against illegal fishing can be stepped up.
The geographical area covered in this study comprises Statistical Subarea 58.6 and Divisions 58.5.1 and 58.5.2, including the Crozet, Kerguelen and Heard and McDonald EEZs respectively, and Statistical Divisions 58.4.3 and 58.4.4, international waters including fishable depths on BANZARE, Elan, Lena and Ob Banks.
The surveillance system deployed by France in the French Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) has been operational throughout the whole year. It has proved to be effective, in that there is no longer any sign of IUU fishing in the EEZs. The fish stocks which were previously so badly affected in the Kerguelen and Crozet EEZs are now protected. However, several times a year IUU activities lasting from one to five weeks are observed on the edges of the continental shelves outside the French EEZs.
IUU fishing continues to make its presence felt in the CCAMLR Area in international waters.
This season, the IUU fleet has again focused on BANZARE and Elan Banks (Statistical Division 58.4.3). In addition to the not inconsiderable activity observed on the more scattered seamounts (Ob and Lena), and sometimes at the boundary of the Kerguelen and Heard EEZs (Lameyne Ridge, Gallienni Spur, Williams Seamount), a resumption of IUU activities has been observed over the seamounts along the edge of the continent which are accessible in summer; this is a worrying development for the Antarctic toothfish stocks.
All IUU vessels observed use gillnets. A number of them state that some of their crew members, mainly the officers, including captains and fishing masters, are nationals of CCAMLR Member countries.
The presence of surveillance vessels showing the CCAMLR insignia has not been sufficient to discourage IUU vessels from continuing their activities. It is therefore necessary to find ways of increasing pressure on the nationals of Member countries who engage in IUU fishing or are associated with IUU activities, followed up by investigations and legal action based on reports of interrogations drawn up by CCAMLR inspectors.