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MOF, Taking the Initiative in Marine Mammals Protection

Date. 2021-05-06
Hit. 202

- Amended enforcement regulation on Distant Water Fisheries Development Act will soon enter into force. -



The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF; Minister MOON, Seong-Hyeok) made an official announcement about the advance notice of legislation for amended enforcement regulation on Distant Water Fisheries Development Act to prevent bycatch of marine mammals. Lasting for 41 days, from Apr. 27 to Jun. 7, 2021, the amended regulation embraces the detailed items to be observed by the pelagic fishers to step up its efforts for marine mammals protection; and to close loopholes in the current enforcement regulation.


In details, the updated version includes the binding procedures for pelagic fishers when marine mammals, turtles, seabirds and fishing-banned sharks are unintentionally caught. While the fishers are required to release the accidentally-obtained species to report the follow-up measures, particular actions to reduce bycatch should be arranged by some types of the industry designated by the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries.


A broadened pool of inspectors for port state inspection is stipulated in the new regulation. The MOF becomes entitled to have its own officers conduct the inspection along with the current inspectors from the National Fishery Products Quality Management Service, an MOF-affiliated agency.


The increased scope of authorized inspectors will expectedly enable more thorough inspection of fishery products caught in distant waters and vessels suspected of IUU fishing. Also, on-board inspections by the officers from MOF and Fisheries Monitoring Centers are available to crack down on any violation.


In addition, the regulatory relief for the industry is suggested for direct export of the catches obtained in the waters outside the national jurisdiction. Improved administrative procedures are included in the regulation to extend the deadline up to 240 hours after the landing, from the current 72 hours, for reporting the quantity of catches landed.


This amended provision potentially gives leniency to the process for the catches’ landing where the existing deadline, 72 hours, has been too insufficient to get the data from the foreign carriers for its report. While easing the regulation for the business, the provision will achieve the higher degree of accuracy when it comes to the report of landing. Transshipment between ships for export, however, remains the 72-hour deadline to report, for your reference.


The updated enforcement regulation can be found in the official website of the MOF (https://www.mof.go.kr) and Legislative Information Center (https://opinion.lawmaking.go.kr). Any opinions or comments can also be submitted online to the Legislative Information Center or Distant-Water Fisheries Division of the MOF until Jun. 7, 2021.



Director General Kim, Jae-cheol of Fishery Resources Policy Bureau of the MOF states that “The amended regulation will hopefully drive the pelagic fishing industry to redouble its efforts on marine mammals protection. My ministry will also remain much more sensitive for the improved items to take their firm root in the field.”