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Taiwan faces EU sanction on fisheries

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Three weeks after Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior busted Taiwanese tuna longliner Shuen De Ching No.888 (順得慶888號) fishing illegally in the Pacific, the European Commission has yellow carded Taiwan for failing to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The yellow carding highlights significant failings in Taiwan fisheries management, especially in the oversight of its distant water fleet.

Taiwan now has six months to bring its fisheries management and vessel control policies in line with international law, or it risks a red card blacklisting. A red card would mean an import ban on fisheries products to the EU, the world’s largest market for fisheries products. The resulting economic loss from such a ban could be as high as €13 million.

Taiwan exports more than half of its US$3.38 billion fisheries production, with more than 90% of tuna going to the US, Japan and other countries. Even though Europe is not a key export market, Taiwan’s international reputation could be threatened if it does not urgently improve its fisheries management. Taiwan also risks other key markets following the EU sanction.

“The yellow card highlights that Taiwan’s fisheries management does not comply with international requirements. Too often, Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency has let off or played down IUU cases. This cannot go on being tolerated,” said Yen Ning, Greenpeace East Asia oceans campaigner.

Taiwan has the biggest tuna fleet in the Pacific, and with 1200 small boats, mainly fishing on the high seas, regulation, monitoring and surveillance are a massive challenge. The fishery is out of control, and as profit margins fall, the industry is increasingly reckless and ruthless, breaking the law and exploiting fishermen.

Taiwan has already faced international sanctions, with a 70% cut to its bigeye quota and a reduction of 160 large-scale longliner vessels in 2006, but there have been no lessons learned. The Taiwanese flagged vessel, Yu Fong 168, has been on the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission IUU list since 2009, simply because Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency has no clue where the vessel is.

Following their yellow carding, Cambodia, Guinea and Sri Lanka were red carded by the EU when they failed to show improvement, or increase cooperation, in the fight against IUU fishing. As a consequence, fisheries products caught by their vessels can no longer be imported to the EU.

South Korea, one of Taiwan’s key tuna fisheries competitors, was issued a yellow card by the EU in 2013, but after largely revising its distant water fisheries management and increasing penalties for illegal fishing, the card was withdrawn.

“Taiwan has a choice. Taiwan’s fisheries problem is too many boats and too little control. Taiwan must clean up its fisheries management, or risk the international disgrace and economic consequences of a red card,” said Yen Ning.

Greenpeace has urged Taiwan to improve its monitoring and surveillance systems, ensure transparent prosecution of law-breakers, reduce its fishing capacity, and support international conservation measures.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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