International/ Trade China Responds to U.S. Forced Labor Import Ban on Dalian Ocean Fishing Urner Barry by Ryan Doyle - June 2, 2021 The spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's findings of forced labor being present in Dalian Ocean Fishing Co.'s operations "groundless." The CBP’s findings led to a Withhold Release Order, which bans the importation of any seafood harvested by the company, as SeafoodNews reported on Monday. The Withhold Release Order was the first of its kind issued against an entire fleet of vessels. “To our knowledge, the US Customs and Border Protection's claim of ‘forced labor, abuse of crew members and withholding of pay’ is fabrication that is totally inconsistent with facts,” Wang Wenbin, Ministry spokesperson said in a May 31 press conference. “Dalian Ocean Fishing Company Limited has never sold any products to the US, and there's nothing to detain in the first place,” Wang continued. “The so-called 'abuse of crew members' is totally unfounded.” According to the CBP, an investigation of Dalian’s operations found all 11 of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor were present, including physical violence, withholding of wages, and abusive working and living conditions. “Companies that exploit their workers have no place doing business in the United States,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Products made from forced labor not only exploit workers, but hurt American businesses and expose consumers to unethical purchases. This Withhold Release Order will ensure we continue to protect the human rights of those working in the distant water fishing industry, while also upholding safeguarding our national and economic security.” Wang said the CBP’s forced labor finding was a “lie concocted by the U.S.” and described the move as political manipulation. Wang noted Dalian’s “strict and full-fledged management mechanism and a good reputation in the industry.” In the past year, the CBP has issued Withhold Release Orders on individual distant water fishing vessels. Back in January, the CBP announced it would detain all seafood harvested by the Lien Yi Hsing No. 12 after forced labor findings. The same move was made for seafood harvested by Da Wang, a Vanuatu-flagged, Taiwan-owned distant water fishing vessel in August 2020. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1200268/China-Responds-to-US-Forced-Labor-Import-Ban-on-Dalian-Ocean-Fishing Japan to Become One of Most Important Sale Markets for Russian Fishermen in Years to Come SeafoodNews.com by Eugene Gerden - June 2, 2021 Japan may become one of the most important sale markets for Russian fishermen this year amid the ever growing supplies of fish and seafood from Russia to Japan this year. During the period of January-April 2021 the biggest growth of supplies was observed in the case of frozen fish, which deliveries grew by 3.2 times, up to 9,900 tonnes, and by 3.8 times to US$42 million in terms of value. The bulk of this volume accounted for frozen sockeye salmon, which was delivered for US$36 million in value terms, compared to only US$1.4 million a year earlier. In addition, herring supplies from Russia to Japan grew by more than 6 times, while in the case of cod the growth was equivalent to 32%. According to predictions of Russian analysts, domestic fish and seafood supplies to Japan will continue to grow in the second half of the current year. Japan already ranks the second largest importer of fresh and chilled crabs from Russia, as well as chilled and frozen shrimp. Finally, Japan remains traditionally a major buyer of Russian sea urchins. In general, this is just the beginning, as, according to state plans, by 2030 the overall imports of agricultural products from Russia to Japan may reach US$3 billion in value terms, a significant part of which will account for frozen fish and fish fillets. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1200271/Japan-to-Become-One-of-Most-Important-Sale-Markets-for-Russian-Fishermen-in-Years-to-Come Environment/Science Lawmakers in Alaska and Washington state push B.C. on mining regulations A group of 25 members of the Washington state legislature sent a letter to Premier John Horgan in March, saying a tailings dam breach at one of several mines in B.C. within 100 kilometres of the state’s border could damage transboundary rivers and fisheries. Vancouver Sun by Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press - June 1, 2021 Lawmakers in Alaska and Washington state are renewing calls for British Columbia to strengthen its mining regulations to protect shared waterways. https://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/lawmakers-in-alaska-and-washington-state-push-b-c-on-mining-regulations Ray Hilborn: MPAs aren’t the answer to ocean biodiversity, sustainability efforts Seafood Source by Chris Chase - June 1, 2021 A global movement to create additional marine protected areas (MPAs) has been steadily gaining traction in recent years, with the initiative picking up milestone victories in the past few months. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/ray-hilborn-mpa-s-aren-t-the-answer-to-ocean-biodiversity-sustainability
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