Sustainable Ecolabelled Seafood from the East China Sea: Regional and General Regulatory Regimes

01 January 2020

The aim of this work is to conduct a systematical review of fisheries management and to be an easy-understood guidebook for building an ecolabelling scheme of fisheries in the East China Sea, and also for Asian countries having plights of lacking good marine scientific research, advanced fisheries management, and public marine conservation awareness. For this purpose, details of ecolabelling mechanism and the definitions of sustainable seafood are explored and a scoring checklist for ecolabelled seafood is created as a check tool, together with a certification standard named "ProFish." This work examines multiple types of legal documents, among them international conventions related to fisheries and marine protected area, FAO agreements, WTO fisheries subsidies negotiation history and existing fisheries agreement sin the East China Sea, Landing Declaration and Sales Notes in the European Union and Norway, to seek legal tools and guidelines that can help Taiwan upgrade fisheries managements and marine health status better. Domestic fisheries regulations of East China Sea littoral countries, including Japan and China, are comprehensively compared. The ownership of and the legal transfer of property in marine life, capital-labor relations in fisheries, input and output controls over fishing capability, and fishery managers identity are illustrated in detail. Furthermore, sharks, crabs, mackerels, neritic squid, and mahi-mahi fishing regulations among Taiwan, Japan and China are reviewed thoroughly. Preliminary assessments of five fisheries in Taiwan are evaluated by ProFish checklist, and mackerel has the highest potential to become the first seafood certified as a sustainable ecolabel. This work concludes that a more centralized fisheries management competent authority can resolve most obstacles. A quasi-governmental-based accreditation organization is suggested for the government first in order to promote a seafood ecolabelling scheme smoothly in Taiwan. Establishing a Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries is important. It is vital to introduce AI technologies into fisheries management measures to meet the need of monitoring and surveillance fishing activities at any time. Setting up nanometer-sized marine protected areas first to form a netowrk is the best policy in politically-difficult regions. Reducing the fishboat fuel subsidy and introducing a higher subsidy for mandatory closed fishing seasons is necessary to develop a sustainable fishery industry.