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Fishing nations fail in bid to cut quotas 

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Dubrovnik (Croatia): Dozens of nations on Monday failed to agree on measures to preserve one of the planet’s most valuable fish: the bigeye tuna, backbone of a billion-dollar business that is severely overfished.
Some 50 countries as well as European Union member states wrapped up a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in the Croatian seaside city of Dubrovnik without reaching a consensus on quotas.
“It’s a setback and it’s bad news,” said Javier Garat Perez, secretary general of the Spanish fishing confederation Cepesca.
Scientists shocked many in the industry last month when they warned that unless catch levels are sharply reduced, stocks of the fatty, fast-swimming predator could crash within a decade or two.
They warned that populations had fallen to less than 20 percent of historic levels.
Less iconic than Atlantic bluefin but more valuable as an industry, bigeye (Thunnus obesus) — one of several so-called tropical tunas — is prized for sashimi in Japan and canned for supermarket sales worldwide.
Three years ago, ICCAT introduced a 65,000-tonne catch limit for the seven largest fishers of bigeye, and a moratorium in certain areas of ocean.
But other countries are not bound by the quotas, and bigeye hauls last year topped 80,000 tonnes — far too high to begin replenishing stocks.
The Dubrovnik meeting saw calls to bring countries fishing more than 1,575 tonnes such as Brazil, Senegal, Guatemala and Cape Verde under quotas but these were blocked due to commercial interests, many delegates said.
“The industry wants to make money and in the quickest way it can,” said Siphokazi Ndudane, who headed the South African delegation at the talks.
The current quota of 65,000 tonnes was extended for a year as well as a partial moratorium on Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs: buoys or floats tethered to the ocean floor with concrete blocks which attract certain types of fish.
The last proposal at the conference was made by South Africa which suggested a quota of 62,500 tonnes from 2019 to 2021.
Some disappointed delegates sounded the alarm.
“If we don’t reach consensus next year, it’s catastrophe,” said Yvan Riva, president of the French fishing organization Orthongel.
The various players also traded blame.
Garat Perez pointed to Asian countries saying they “tried to avoid any measure that could affect their fleet of longliners,” adding that “Europeans were prepared to make sacrifices.”
But one member of a coastal African nation said it was a “lack of will” on the part of the big fishing nations.
Some experts have calculated that cutting the total catch to 50,000 tonnes per year would give bigeye a 70 percent probability of recovery by 2028.
Some delegates said the ICCAT had not taken in the lessons from the bluefin tuna.
In 2007 when one species of bluefin (Thunnus thynnus) was put on the UN list of threatened species, the ICCAT was forced to adopt drastic protective measures in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and stocks began to recover.
In Dubrovnik, after lengthy negotiations, the ICCAT put in place its 2019 management plan including relaxed fishing periods and for developing countries, the opportunity to set up bluefin tuna fattening farms.
“Bottom line, there are simply too many boats in the water chasing too few fish,” said Paulus Tak, a senior officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, and an official observer at the ICCAT meeting, about the bigeye tuna situation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Improving ease of doing business

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Imran Khan on solution to poverty

ISLAMABAD: PM has today directed Board of Investment (BoI) chairman to present a comprehensive plan, listing all the issues in various sectors and their sub-sectors and how the processes could be streamlined to simplify procedures related to government approvals, addressing taxation issues, dispute resolution and facilitating investors/businesses. 
He said this while chairing a high-level meeting to review progress on improving ease of doing business and creating an enabling environment to facilitate the conversion of interest of the local as well foreign investors into actual investments in the country. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Law Minister Dr. Farogh Naseem, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif, federal secretaries and senior officials. 
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif while briefing the prime minister about the steps taken so far said the Board would be serving as an agent of change for facilitating business transactions, removing impediments in the way to the materialization of investors’ interest into actual investments and smooth functioning of the businesses in the country. He also briefed about various issues being faced by the business community including taxation, access to finance, regulation and policy issues and red-tapism.
He said the BoI was also actively working with the provinces and relevant ministries for removing barriers in the way of establishing Special Economic Zones.  He said special efforts were being made to bridge the gap between private and public sector and to reach out to the private sector to revive their confidence in government policies and put in place a framework that facilitates business community in its business pursuits.  The BoI chairman also briefed about Naya Pakistan Diaspora Fund which was being set-up to promote SMEs and rural development in key areas of education, health, and infrastructure development.
He also apprised the prime minister of the investment framework which had been structured for attracting and materializing investment from UAE, KSA, China, Japan, and Malaysia.   It was decided during the meeting that the prime minister would chair a review meeting every month on ease of doing business in the country.

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KARACHI: Removal of encroachments

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KARACHI: The Anti-Encroachment Department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) demolished more than 35 shops and other constructions in front of shops and footpaths with the help of heavy machinery in district West and Korangi on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Commissioner Dr. Syed Saif-ur-Rehman who is monitoring anti-encroachments drive in the city, said that footpaths are for pedestrians and no one can be allowed to block the footpaths by extending shops or putting stuff to create problems for citizens, said a statement. He said that the anti-encroachment drive was meant to bring improvement to the city and make it clean and beautiful.
Traders community have so far cooperated with the KMC in its action against encroachments and removed their stuff and an additional portion of their shops.
He said that the city roads, streets, and footpaths are widened after the removal of encroachments. Meanwhile, senior director anti-encroachments Bashir Siddiqui with his team took action in districts West and Korangi.
They removed the encroachments from different areas including Pak Colony in district West and Malir Saudabad in district Korangi where walls, shops, and other structures were demolished.

 

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Asia

Tokyo stocks close lower

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Tokyo stocks close down

TOKYO: Shares here closed lower today as uncertainty caused by factors including Brexit and trade tensions weighed on the market, wiping out early gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.34 percent or 71.48 points to 21,148.02 while the broader Topix index was down 0.91 percent or 14.50 points at 1,575.31. Tokyo shares opened higher, rebounding from sharp drops the previous day, with investors apparently relieved that Wall Street eked out gains after a volatile session.
“But sentiment worsened as investors remained cautious amid uncertain elements such as the postponement of Britain’s Brexit vote and the US-China trade war,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP. European stock markets and the pound slid Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was delaying a parliamentary vote on her deal to leave the EU after conceding it would not win sufficient support.
“The market is concerned that the postponement uses up valuable time before the 29th March exit date, and the risk of a no-deal scenario is growing,” David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank said in a commentary. The dollar slipped to 113.10 yen in late Asian trade from 113.35 yen in New York Monday afternoon. In individual stocks trade, SoftBank Group jumped 2.44 percent to 8,827 yen after announcing Monday it aims to raise over $23 billion by listing its Japanese mobile unit next week.
Nissan kept falling, down 3.10 percent at 915.7 yen after tumbling 2.90 percent on Monday as ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations of alleged financial misconduct. Prosecutors also charged Nissan for filing documents that allegedly understated Ghosn’s earnings. The Nikkei daily reported Tuesday that Nissan plans to book years of under-reported compensation paid to Ghosn as expenses in the year to March 2019 all at once, a move that could worsen the automaker’s balance sheet. Toyota lost 1.09 percent to 6,745 yen but Sony rose 0.72 percent to 5,735 yen.

 

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