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IN BRIEF - Inside North Korea's Forced-Labor Program

NORTH KOREA
Monday, February 26, 2024

Workers sent from the country to Chinese factories describe enduring beatings and sexual abuse, having their wages taken by the state, and being told that if they try to escape they will be “killed without a trace.”

IN FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR, Donggang Jinhui Foodstuff, a seafood-processing company in Dandong, China, threw a party. It had been a successful year: a new plant had opened, and the company had doubled the amount of squid that it exported to the United States. The party, according to videos posted on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, featured singers, instrumentalists, dancers, fireworks, and strobe lights. One aspect of the company’s success seems to have been its use of North Korean workers, who are sent by their government to work in Chinese factories, in conditions of captivity, to earn money for the state.

 

A seafood trader who does business with Jinhui recently estimated that it employed between fifty and seventy North Koreans. Videos posted by a company representative show machines labelled in Korean, and workers with North Korean accents explaining how to clean squid. 

At the party, the company played songs that are popular in Pyongyang, including “People Bring Glory to Our Party” (written by North Korea’s 1989 poet laureate) and “We Will Go to Mt. Paektu” (a reference to the widely mythologized birthplace of Kim Jong Il).[...]

Author/source:  Ian Urbina/The New Yorker


IN BRIEF - Japan to Continue Urging China to Lift Fishery Ban; Prepared for Talks Over Treated Water to Be Prolonged

JAPAN
Monday, February 26, 2024

The Japanese government intends to continue urging China to lift its ban on imports of Japanese fisheries products, while monitoring the progress of talks between Japanese and Chinese experts on the release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Since there is little prospect that China will soften its stance any time soon, Japan is preparing for the discussions to be prolonged as it continues efforts to provide thorough explanations to other countries.

The talks were realized at the request of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Japan-China summit in November. The first meeting was held online in January and attended by representatives from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. and government officials from both countries, in addition to experts.

According to Tokyo, dialogues between experts from both countries had already taken place before that. The meeting in January had both Tokyo and Beijing expanding its participants.

Although there were no signs of compromise on issues such as how to monitor treated water, Japan is focusing on China’s willingness to engage in dialogue.[...]

Author/source: Shinsuke Uemura and Keiichiro Azuma / Japan News


IN BRIEF - Aquaculture industry production almost surpasses MYR4B in 2023

MALAYSIA
Monday, February 26, 2024

KUALA SELANGOR – Malaysia’s national aquaculture industry successfully recorded approximately 492,680 metric tonnes of production worth MYR3.9 billion last year, said Department of Fisheries director-general Datuk Adnan Hussain.

He said DOF is also working towards increasing the contribution of the national aquaculture sector by focusing on the farming of tilapia gift, tilapia merah, ikan susu, keli, aiakap, patin, lampam, kelah, udang putih and udang harimau.

“At the exhibition under the aquaculture segment of Central Zone MADANI Rakyat programme, the Department of Fisheries showcased species such as udang harimau, udang putih, ikan kelah and lampam that adopted biofloc technology and Good Agricultural Practices (myGAP) in the fisheries sector."

He said this exhibition also introduces biofloc technology, which is an aquaculture system that recycles nutrient waste as fish food.

“Through this technology, it will facilitate farmers in controlling water quality and disease outbreaks and subsequently, entrepreneurs will be able to increase their aquaculture yields".

In addition, Adnan also said that DOF aims to achieve a total of 500,000 metric tonnes for aquaculture production with an average income of MYR3,800 per month for aquaculture farmers by 2024.

Source: Bernama


IN BRIEF - New Delhi ready to negotiate hard on public stockholding of food and fisheries subsidies at Abu Dhabi WTO conference

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Monday, February 26, 2024

The World Trade Organisation’s thirteenth ministerial conference (MC13) kicks off in Abu Dabi on February 26. 

The draft Abu Dhabi ministerial declaration is almost ready, barring a few sentences on inconclusive issues that have been temporarily stashed away in brackets. It harks back to the past, to the Marrakech Agreement, which led to the establishment of the world trade body in the summer of 1994. It also reveals unresolved issues of the present. While one paragraph is a placeholder for an agreement on dispute settlement.[...] 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com


IN BRIEF - Andalusia grants 9.6 million in aid to finance 50 R&D projects in marine sciences

SPAIN
Monday, February 26, 2024

The Department of University, Research and Innovation has awarded subsidies worth 9.58 million euros to finance fifty R&D projects in marine sciences promoted by seven Andalusian public universities and by six research institutes and technological centers that develop their activity in the community.
 
In a statement, the University Department has pointed out that this aid program, resolved by competitive competition, received 84 applications and falls within the framework of the Complementary Research Plan in Marine Sciences promoted by Andalusia in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and with the support of European recovery funds.
 
The universities of Almería (UAL), Cádiz (UCA), Córdoba (UCO), Granada (UGR), Huelva (UHU), Málaga (UMA) and Seville (US) are those that have been selected for these incentives, with an amount raised 7.43 million, which represents 77.53% of the total aid granted. These resources will allow the promotion of 41 projects in the observation and monitoring of the marine and coastal environment, sustainable, intelligent and precision aquaculture and the blue economy.[...]
 
Source: EUROPA PRESS

Other Media | Industrias Pesqueras: Vigo begins the year with increases in fresh fishing of 6.24%

SPAIN
Monday, February 26, 2024

Mixed results for fishing in the Port of Vigo at the start of the year, with increases in fresh fishing, but drops in frozen fishing. Regarding the activity at the O Berbés fish market, January ended with 2,161 tons, 6.24% more than in the same month last year. Frozen fishing traffic reached 34,755 tons, of which 28,508 were landed in Vigo and another 6,264 were exported. The balance is -4.52% compared to January 2023. The Port Authority of Vigo has made a positive balance on the occasion of the meeting of the Board of Directors.

Source: Industrias Pesqueras | Read the full article here


Other Media | FishFocus: £6 million fund to support UK fishing industry reopens for 2024.

UNITED KINGDOM
Monday, February 26, 2024

£6 million fund to support UK fishing industry reopens for 2024. 

  • Highly popular Fisheries and Seafood scheme (FaSS) re-opens for 2024
  • Around £6 million in funding will help to support projects across catching, aquaculture, and processing sectors, as well as projects that are improving the marine environment.
  • £27 million has already been committed through the scheme to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience, and prosperity of the seafood sector.

Source: FishFocus | read the full article here


Other Media | FishFarmer: Scottish Pavilion at Aqua Nor hailed a resounding success

UNITED KINGDOM
Monday, February 26, 2024

Team Scotland’s presence last year at Aqua Nor, the international aquaculture trade show, has been hailed as a resounding success.

In a poll, three-quarters of the Scottish businesses represented there said they expect to see an increase in turnover after attending the biennial exhibition and conference held at Trondheim in Norway, in August last year.

The Scottish Government is following up on this exercise with a presence at the Aqua Sur trade show in Chile.

Source: FishFarmer | read the full article here


Other Media | SeafoodSource: Change in Japanese law has fishing co-ops worried they'll lose access to aquaculture sites

JAPAN
Monday, February 26, 2024

A change to Japan’s national fisheries law has granted aquaculture site access to corporations in certain instances, worrying members of local fishing cooperatives who fear these large businesses will take over sites previously reserved for them and reduce their status to mere employees instead of owner-operators.

The “Act on Partial Revision of the Fisheries Law” was passed in December 2018 and entered into effect a year later with the original intention of injecting capital into the industry while allowing new entrants to support the sector’s aging workforce.

Author: Chris Loew / SeafoodSource | read the full article here


IN BRIEF - Astilleros de Bermeo builds a new fishing vessel for the Armintza fleet

SPAIN
Sunday, February 25, 2024

It is an artisanal vessel that will focus on capturing greenfish, bonito, hake and sea bass.

The Basque inshore fleet has a new fishing vessel in its ranks. This is the Beti Itsasoko, a boat made of polyester by the company Astilleros de Bermeo. The construction of a new boat constitutes news that is as new as it is positive for the Basque fishing sector. And since the fleet of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa undertook a profound renovation of its ships at the end of the last century and the beginning of the current one, hardly any new additions have been registered. Astilleros de Bermeo built a fishing vessel for shipowners in the port of Donostia in 2020 and the Lekeitio minor gear fleet incorporated a new vessel in 2019 to replace an older one.

Two brothers from Armintza, Iñaki and Jon Mendizabal, owners of the Itxasoko Lorea II, a polyester fishing boat with 25 years of sea experience behind them, decided to take the step to undertake a new construction that has materialized with the recent launching of the Beti Itsasoko.[...]

Author/source: Ramon Basaldua/Deia (translated from original in spanish)


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