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IUU 2To what extent could the control of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing curb food insecurity, promote global environmental governance and economic development?
On 25 September 2015, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) formally adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This agenda encapsulated a set of 17 new global goals that are universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world. The goals include: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere; ending hunger to achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; conserve and sustainably use the oceans, Seas and marine resources for sustainable development
To achieve these goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing averred that public finance and aid would be central to support their implementation; and also money generated from the private sector, through tax reforms, and through a crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption. A major conference on financing of the SDGs, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, failed to ease concerns over the lack of sufficient funds to meet the aspirational nature of the goals (the summit failed to produce new ways of acquiring finances to fund the goals or offer ways to transform the international finance system).
Could the control of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing help in achieving these goals? In many parts of the world, marine fisheries have been the desired source of protein and play a crucial role in maintaining food and economic security. With the speeding up of globalization process, the rapid population growth, increase in demand for fish, development of urban markets and introduction of new technologies, there is an expansion of fishing operations. The rapid growth and globalization of the fisheries sector has also transformed fishing patterns. Current trends in the production of global marine fisheries resources have presented an alarming concern for food security and sustainable development. For instance, some of the fishery resources that were previously regarded as inexhaustible have either been depleted or over exploited. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations states that, of the major marine fish stocks or species groups, 52% are fully exploited, 17% are over exploited, 25% are underexploited or moderately exploited, and the remaining 6% are becoming depleted.
The decline in global fisheries resources has been attributed to a number of interrelated factors; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Fish piracy continues to thrive worldwide despite national and international efforts. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which involves all types of fishing vessels, regardless of their registration, size or state of repair affects both territorial and international waters. Illegal fishing is conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a state, without the permission of the owning State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations. Unreported fishing is when fishing activities have not been reported or have been misreported to the relevant national authority, in contravention with national laws and regulations. Unregulated fishing refers to fishing activities conducted by vessels without nationality, or by those flying the flag of a state not party to that organization. IUU fishing has depleted global fish stokes and undermined efforts towards achieving the principle of intergenerational and intra-generational equity. As IUU fishing is done illegally, the social and economic welfare of those involved in fishing legally is affected negatively.
IUU fishing causes economic, social and environmental problems. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total catches in some important fisheries and that catches of particular species could be up to three times the permitted amount. The data suggests that high seas IUU fishing is concentrated on a few high value species, such as Patagonian toothfish and tuna. Unregulated catch has threatened the sustainability of world fish stocks and undermined efforts to manage resources. In terms of social and economic impacts, IUU fishers operate at lower costs thereby gaining an unjust economic advantage over legitimate fishers who also depend on fish to sustain their livelihoods. According to OECD, high seas IUU operators usually exploit fishers from developing countries as many of the crew on IUU vessels come from poor parts of the world. Given that they have few other employment options, they work on IUU vessels for low wages and in extremely poor working and living conditions.
If controlled, legal fishing presents various opportunities: countries that depend on fisheries will be food secure. Availability of adequate and nutritious food presents various advantages-it translates to good health; access to food by household translates to children being well nourished. This increases basic learning capacities of children. Food increases the capacity to concentrate and perform well in school; a food secure household is likely to have higher incomes. This is because food security translates to high performance at places of work and trade in surplus agricultural products and thus higher incomes. Higher incomes provide resources that ensure sustained growth in human development. Households with higher income spend on various sectors such as education and improvement in health which are among the components of human development.
Why does IUU fishing continue to thrive even though it is illegal and presents various disadvantages? Factors that create incentives for IUU fishing include: Insufficient or inefficient enforcement of national and international regulations including low monitoring, control and surveillance capacities and low level of sanction which reduces the cost of risk faced by IUU operators; ineffective flag state control over vessels which allow operators engaged in IUU fishing activities to face reduced operating and risk costs; prevalence of poor economic and social conditions in some countries which reduces the cost of fraud, crew costs, the cost of risk and the costs associated with maintaining appropriate safety and working standards; and incomplete international legal frameworks.
Various international and regional agreements have been adopted to curb IUU. Globally, the International Plan of Action on IUU fishing is mandated for this. Regionally, considering the serious economic, social and environmental problems caused by IUU fishing activities, the OECD’s committee for fisheries, in the Programme of work for 2002-2005 launched a study; “which will provide policy makers with environmental, economic and social arguments in support of measures in relation to IUU fishing activities, Including the FAO International Plan of Action on IUU fishing… ” (FAO fisheries report No.666, 2000). The drawback of these is that there is Insufficient and inefficient enforcement of at both national and international levels.
To resolve this problem, world leaders could do the following; while laws regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing exist, there is Insufficient and inefficient enforcement of at both national and international. This is because these laws and especially the International Plan of Action on IUU fishing are non-binding. In this regard, to improve the effectiveness of these laws, an online network database on fishing should be created. This will be a forum of information exchange allowing for communications and questions between countries and experts on key issues of relevance. This means that the platform will be one stop for national laws, International laws, best practices and information sharing.  With information sharing on the issues of fishing, IUU fishing may significantly reduce.


YPARD in partnership with The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in Business invites women entrepreneurs at all stages and business sizes to apply for a one year long mentorship at the Cherie Blair Foundation Women business mentoring program.

Source: 2016 Cherie Blair Foundation for Women business mentoring program Applications Now Open!

In my parent's greenhouse checking out the tomato seedlings

In a greenhouse checking out the tomato seedlings

Kenya is a huge country with diverse geographical regions but despite the many regions, only one is referred to as the country’s bread basket. Kitale is the country’s bread basket and this is also my home. This is where I was born and bred – in a small village on the slopes of Mt. Elgon. This region is known as the country’s food basket not because it is the only place where farming is done but rather where the country’s staple food (maize) is cultivated.
Being a daughter of this land I knew nothing but farming as a source of livelihood. I grew up watching my parents and siblings toil on the farm and I knew I was destined to join them. Yes, I knew I would too become a farmer but I wanted to do it differently. I wanted to become a farmer with my own land and grow vegetables, grow flowers and sell them to Europe in exchange for Euros. This was my dream, a dream that was planted and cultivated in me by my granny who told me that if I did that I would earn enough to take her to the city. She had always wanted to go to the city, a privilege she hadn’t had unlike her husband (grandpa) who had travelled the world in the World War II fighting for the British. So I wanted to help my granny reach to the city.
It was in school where my dream plummeted like a shiny coin dropped in a dark well. Here, what I loved and looked forward to doing as a career was perceived as a punishment. The noisemakers, bullies, poor performers, absentees and other petty offenders in the school context were made to work on the school farm as the rest of us studied. As a small girl from the farm I thought of it as a motivation and I‘d do anything to be allowed to work on the school farm. However, with time I knew it for what it really was – a punishment. I started giving it the contempt it deserved and avoided anything that would make me work on the farm. Outside school were not any better for those aspiring to be farmers. They had to overcome a myriad of challenges in the sector. Besides inadequate financial resources, ladies are victims of discrimination and prejudice from their male counterparts who believe that land ownership is a reserve of men.
In secondary school, I schooled with city kids who mistook cows for buffaloes, goats for gazelles and thought vegetables grew in supermarkets. Being informed on these matters than my fellow students from the city made me proud of my agricultural background and so my dream was revived. I was back on course to become the successful farmer I had always dreamt of. I finished my secondary school education and enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy but I still harbor my ambition of becoming a farmer. I have initiated a chicken rearing project which is my flagship project. Starting at five chickens in March, the number has steadily increased to thirteen, of which some of them are laying while others have already hatched chicks.
I have a dairy cow that produces milk which I have allowed my granny to milk and sell. I have also rented a one acre piece of land on the outskirts of Nairobi which I intent to use as a platform to scale the heights of agriculture. My plans are grand and I just started.


The Picturesque Wildlife of Maasai Mara

Kenya’s wildlife is unrivaled by any other in the world, both in terms of numbers and variety of species. Thousands of tourists visit Kenya every year to view the wildlife particularly the wildebeest migration. Animals such as lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, hippopotamus, gazelles, cheetahs, hyena and wide range of bird species can all be found in Kenya and this has made Kenya the preferred tourist destination. Kenya is indeed a magical country – a fact that many tourists will attest to. Besides the wildlife, Kenya is also endowed with great geographic, cultural and natural diversity, offering tourists just as much, if not more, than they would dream of.

I am not going to talk about each one of these attractions here lest you accuse me of blowing my own trumpet but for the sake of this assignment of explaining the nexus between tourism and community development, am going to share about the Maasai community.

Maasai 1

A Snap With the Entrepreneurial Maasai Women

In a country of 42 tribes, only one tribe has stood out the world over as the most interesting community due its lifestyle, which until today has remained intact and unchanged for a number of centuries. How Maasais manage to “co-habit” with lions has puzzled many arousing their desire to visit their land. Largely associated with them is the Maasai Mara Reserve. Maasai Mara Reserve is the largest protected park in the country and is important not only to the Maasai people but the whole country due to its rich biodiversity.

Tourists from other countries flock to the park to see the animals in their natural habitat. They go on a ‘Safari’ in the park which has brought lots of money to the country. This money has been used to build hospitals, roads, bring electricity and water and other social amenities to the community.

Thanks to tourism, jobs have been created in the community. When the tourists visit, Maasai traditional songs, music and dances are performed for them in the lodges, tented camps and in the cultural bomas. Dances performed by both mixed and single groups based on age and sex, each having its own style. Good songs, music and dance are they which are well composed and have meaning in the context in which they are performed. These, have become so popular among tourists thereby asserting themselves as a distinct tourist product. People have been therefore employed to be performing to the visitors when they come. Clad in their traditional attire, the Maasai women are found selling beads and locally-made jewels and bracelets to the tourists camping and visiting in their location within the Maasai land. Beads, necklaces, and sceptres made in different colors, along with bracelets, are the most attractive locally-made jewellery by the Maasai women folks and which most tourists visiting the area want to buy. Many make a living from this.


A Collection of Some of the Merchandise Sold by the Maasai Women

Indeed, the Kenya’s Maasai community is a true representation of a community reaping the benefits of tourism.

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