INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Taiwan Needs to Comply with Wcpfc Fishing Capacity

Published: Fri 25 Aug 2006 02:34 AM
VZCZCXRO0562
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHKN
DE RUEHIN #2953/01 2370234
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250234Z AUG 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1825
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5585
RUEHKN/AMEMBASSY KOLONIA 0005
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8047
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 7972
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1377
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 9516
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0337
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 5343
RUCPDC/NOAA NMFS WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TAIPEI 002953
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR OES/OMC GIBBONS-FLY; NOAA NMFS FOR REBECCA LENT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS SENV KTIA PHSA CH TW
SUBJECT: TAIWAN NEEDS TO COMPLY WITH WCPFC FISHING CAPACITY
REQUIREMENTS
REF: A. TAIPEI 2521
B. TAIPEI 1904
1. (SBU) SUMMARY. A U.S. fisheries delegation visited Taiwan
August 9 to discuss Taiwan fishing fleet overcapacity,
ship-boarding policy in the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and Taiwan membership in
fisheries organizations. The U.S. called on Taiwan to reduce
its fishing fleet capacity in WCPFC waters by at least eight
boats and offered to have U.S. industry purchase some of the
boats. Taiwan will review the proposal and reply at a later
date. End Summary.
2. (SBU) OES/OMC Director William Gibbons-Fly led
a team composed of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency
(NOAA) International Affairs Director Rebecca Lent, NOAA
Pacific Islands Regional Administrator William Robinson,
United States Tuna Foundation representative David Burney and
Bumblebee Seafood President Chris Lischewski to Taiwan August
9 to meet with Taiwan's Fisheries Agency and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.
TAIWAN IN VIOLATION OF WCPFC CAPACITY RESOLUTION
--------------------------------------------- -------
3. (SBU) OES/OMC Director Gibbons-Fly noted that the
TECRO/AIT MOU on fisheries has worked well so far, but
expressed concern that Taiwan had still not fulfilled its
obligations under the 1999 WCPFC resolution requiring a
reduction in fishing capacity by Taiwan. He said Taiwan had
23 vessels (purse seiner type) in excess of the limit that
continued to fish in WCPFC waters. He said this situation
would make it difficult for the U.S. to support Taiwan
membership (or observership) in newly established fishery
organizations. Taiwan Fishery Agency Director Shieh Dah-wen
disputed the finding that Taiwan was over the limit. He
claimed that six of the 23 vessels identified by WCPFC had
been built before 1999 and so any limit would only apply to
the remaining 18 vessels. Shieh reported the results from
Taiwan's latest round of fisheries talks with Japan. He said
Japan had concluded that because Taiwan had
reduced its long liner fleet by 10 vessels, and another
eight licenses had been cancelled, Taiwan was not in
violation of the WCPFC resolution. Gibbons-Fly replied
that the vessels listed as having their licenses revoked were
still operating under PRC ownership and thus did not
contribute to reducing capacity. He added that the 10
long-liners were different from purse seiners and could not
be mixed into the count.
US INDUSTRY WILL BUY USED BOATS TO HELP TAIWAN
--------------------------------------------- -------
4. (SBU) To help Taiwan reduce its capacity and
enhance U.S. capacity in the WCPFC area, Gibbons-Fly
proposed that U.S. industry could consider purchasing some
of the vessels in Taiwan's fleet. However, Taiwan noted
that according to its regulations, the buying party has
to either report a boat sunk or scrapped before Taiwan can
sell a boat to them. Taiwan was also concerned that given
the recent ICCAT sanctions, it might be criticized for
selling additional vessels to the U.S.
5. (SBU) Taiwan fisheries agency Director Shieh Dah-wen
promised to review the offer and consult with his industry.
He said he supported efforts to reduce capacity, but
shipbuilders were unhappy about their current inability to
build new ships. U.S. tuna interests, represented by
Bumblebee tuna, said they wished to buy new boats but were
willing to compromise to help Taiwan meet its requirements
under the WCPFC.
BOARDING LANGUAGE/INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
---------------------------------------------
6. (SBU) In a separate meeting with MOFA International
Organizations Director John Chen said the language used in
the ship-boarding procedures by the WCPFC singled out Taiwan
for special treatment and this was not acceptable.
Gibbons-Fly agreed that members of WCPFC should be
TAIPEI 00002953 002 OF 002
treated equally. Chen then mentioned that Taiwan sought to
become an observer in the Commission for the Conservation
of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCMLAR) and had
submitted an application last year. Taiwan received a
reply that the timing was not right. This year Taiwan
again submitted a request but fears the PRC will veto the
application. Similarly, Taiwan wished to pursue
membership in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries
Management Organization (SPRFMO) and hoped for U.S.
support. Gibbons-Fly said U.S. support would be contingent
on Taiwan's demonstrated willingness to
abide by the rules and reduce excess fishing capacity.
COMMENT
-------
7. SBU) Taiwan Fisheries Agency apparently believes it has
fulfilled its obligation to reduce its fishing fleet capacity
in WCPFC waters. AIT/T will encourage Taiwan officials to
seriously consider the proposal for the U.S. tuna industry to
purchase up to eight purse seiners. END COMMENT.
YOUNG
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