In this section, you will find new materials that have been published on the topic of “Fighting against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU): Impacts and challenges for ACP countries”, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.

NGOs: WCPFC falls short in IUU, harvest management reforms
SeafoodSource; 16/12/2019

Despite an agreement on a resolution addressing climate change’s impact on the fisheries it regulates, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) failed to tackle several key issues at its annual meeting, which took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, last week. In its most notable move during the meeting, the commission adopted a climate change resolution introduced by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries (FFA) that acknowledges the need to address the impact of climate change on fisheries. The resolution requires the commission to consider climate change when developing conservation and management measures, and to support more science on the impact to fisheries. Though the resolution is non-binding, FFA called the adoption of the climate change resolution a “landmark” moment, saying it will aid in protecting the small island developing states whose livelihoods and food security will suffer from the effects of climate change, primarily as they impact tuna stocks.

Fighting IUU fishing
European Commission; 15/10/2019

Infopoint lunchtime conference on EU action against Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, Tue, 15/10/2019 – 12:30 to 14:00 at Rue de la Loi 43-45, Ground floor, Brussels. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing remains one of the greatest threats to sustainable fisheries, the livelihoods of those who depend upon them and marine ecosystems. It takes advantage of corrupt administrations and exploits weak management regimes, in particular those of developing countries lacking the capacity and resources for effective monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS). In those countries, IUU fishing threatens livelihoods, exacerbates poverty, and augments food insecurity. SDG 14 calls for combatting IUU fishing

Illegal fishing causes Mozambican economy US $60m annually, 14/12/2018

Illegal fishing has been proven the Mozambican economy at least US $60m per year. This is according to a report released by the Minister of the Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries, Agostinho Mondlane. Minister Mondlane said this situation poses major challenges for strengthening inspection activities along the Mozambican coast. As such, he said that there is need to seek innovative and coordinated solutions at national, regional and international level, to end the illegal practices that are corroding the country’s economy. Meanwhile, SADC (Southern African Development Community) is setting up a Regional Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) centre. This is to be located in the outlying Maputo neighborhood of Katembe. Work on building the centre is due to begin next year. The move has been termed as an extremely important gain on this front by Mondlane. However, before the center is up and running, the Minister called for creative and bolder ways to enable surveillance to work in the fight against illegal fishing. He further called for tighter control on the inspection of fisheries produce, both for domestic consumption and for export.

Fight against illegal fishing strengthens as FAO marks International Day against IUU fishing
devdiscourse, 06/06/2018

A growing number of countries are signing up to a global agreement that helps stop illegal fishing, as the international community today marks the first International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing. IUU fishing is estimated to affect one in every five fish caught, with an annual cost of up to $23 billion. Today’s date was chosen to highlight the scourge of IUU fishing because it is the anniversary of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) which came into force in 2016. The PSMA is the first binding international agreement that specifically targets illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. So far 54 States and the European Union have become Parties to the Agreement and many have already started implementing the provisions. “Many other countries are currently in the process of ratification by their parliaments…I would like to congratulate all of those countries, and urge all other countries to join this global effort to eliminate illegal fishing. For the PSMA to be very effective, we need every country onboard,” said FAO’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva at a side event during FAO Council to mark the international day.

Sierra Leone News: Govt. must enforce transhipment ban on fishing industry
awoko, 16/04/18

Banning transshipment at sea to avoid transfer of fish and supplies from one vessel to another in the country’s waters is necessary to reduce illegal fishing and thereby diversify the Sierra Leone economy. This is according to the National Coordinator of Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), Abu Bakarr Kamara, in their concluding analysis in moving away from the over dependence on iron ore for boosting the country’s economy. Kamara was talking about the economic situation in the country and urged that by diversifying the economy the government will be able to generate revenues from other sources especially the fishing industry. “Monitoring equipment for enforcement should be available.” “Strengthening this industry through technical and financial support will help reduce our borrowing gap and the fisheries sector is important to be focused on. With so many issues ranging from unlicensed boats and with those that are licensed and the specification of fish they should fish.”

African women lament rising incidences of illegal fishing
sipanews , 19/04/2018

Women stakeholders in the small scale fisheries sector in Africa have lamented that that rising incidences of Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is causing damage to small scale fishing on the African continent. The women, including fishmongers, micro-fishmongers, processors and traders of fish products from the artisanal fisheries sector across Africa were gathered in Banjul, the Gambia for the celebration of International Women’s Day under the auspices of the Confederation of African Artisanal Fisheries Professional Organisations (CAOPA/CAAFPO). The theme for the fifth International Women’s Day, organised by COAPA/CAAFPO, was entitled “The role of women in promoting environmentally and socially sustainable fishing practices”. The Secretary General of CAOPA/CAAFPO, Mr. Dauda Foday Saine, said that the theme for the event is one of global concern to fight illegal fishing in Africa. For his part, the President of COAPA/CAAFPO, Mr. Gaoussou Gueye, appreciated the support of the government of The Gambia for the two-day event which was celebrated from 6th to 8th March 2018.

Fiji’s efforts to keep fish in the sea, 27/03/2018

Over-fishing is a growing problem in the Pacific, as nations try to stop their stocks from being depleted beyond repair. Sam Sachdeva visited Suva to learn about Fiji’s efforts to stop illegal fishing in its tracks and how New Zealand is lending a helping hand. For Pacific nations, it’s the $850 million question: how can we stop illegal fishing in our waters? Nobody is in any doubt about the threat posed to the region by climate change, but the dangerous depletion of marine reserves is also of great alarm to Pacific politicians. As Fiji’s Fisheries Minister Semi Koroilavesau says, his country and others depend on their sealife for food security both now and in the future. “If we do not ensure sustainability, we will exhaust these resources – we need to be aware of that.” There is also a significant economic cost to the overfishing. A 2016 report commissioned by the Pacific Islands’ Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) estimated about $849m of Pacific tuna was illegally caught each year, with reporting violations and failure to comply with other regulations the main problems.

Somali Pirates Return as Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing Continues in the Gulf of Aden
newsecuritybeat, 21/03/2018

After pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel last year near Bosasso, a major seaport in Puntland, Somalia, local authorities observed that the offending boat was casting nets without a license. While piracy has diminished since 2008-2012, when these waters became some of the most lawless in the world, a spate of incidents in 2017-8 has made it clear that the conditions that led to piracy—including incursions from foreign fishing boats—are still a major problem. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing is a constant challenge for Somalia’s fisheries sector, which employs 70,000 workers and contributes $135 million USD annually to the local economy. “Starting in the early 1990s, frustration with IUU fishers became a justification for attacks on foreign vessels, setting the stage for piracy against the entire shipping industry in the Western Indian Ocean,” said Sarah Glaser, lead author of Securing Somali Fisheries, acomprehensive overview of the industry published by One Earth Future.

Nigeria: How Nigeria Loses $70m to Illegal Fishing By Chinese Vessels
AllAfrica, 07/03/ 2018

The Nigeria Navy has disclosed that the country loses as much as $70milion annually to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), activities of some Chinese Fishing vessels in the maritime domain. These Chinese vessels, THISDAY gathered, usually come as close as four nautical miles to the coast, which is illegal, thus depriving local fishermen of the resources. This was disclosed when a delegation from the German Armed Forces General Staff College visited the Western Naval Command (WNC) headquarters in Lagos, recently. According to the WNC Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah, the perpetrators usually come as close as four nautical miles to the coast. He said such acts are not allowed, further adding that by so doing, they deprive local fishermen of the resources they ought to accrue to them. Although Abbah said there was significant reduction in unregulated fishing, he noted that this was because a lot of vessels had been arrested for IUU and handed over to relevant authorities.

New Data Aims to Shed Light on Extent of Global Industrial Fishing
ICTSD, 01/03/2018

New evidence suggests that at least 55 percent of the world’s oceans are now being fished by industrial vessels, while warning that the number could potentially be even higher. The statistic is one of the main results presented in a study spearheaded by Global Fishing Watch, in collaboration with scientists from across the US and Canada. The over-exploitation of the world’s fisheries is well documented, but new data has enabled the first comprehensive global analysis of fishing activity and effort. Findings show that the absolute footprint of industrial fishing is four times larger than that of agriculture, despite furnishing only 1.2 percent of total human caloric consumption. Published last week in Science, the academic journal, the study examines the global reach of industrial fishing using satellite data from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Automatic Identification System (AIS). The tracking system, mandated to assist in the prevention of collisions, frequently reports a vessel’s identity, position, and speed – information that is also recorded by satellite and land-based receivers. A recent expansion of AIS allowed the authors to analyse the activity of over 70,000 vessels from 2012 to 2016.

Illegal fishing makes Pacific communities vulnerable, says Fijian minister
ONE PNG, 01/30/2018

The vulnerable Pacific Island region and its communities are particularly threatened by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, a Fijian minister warned on Monday. Speaking at a symposium at the University of the South Pacific (USP), Fiji’s Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau said that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing robbed the rich Pacific island nations of its development opportunities as it reduced revenue from fisheries, undermined investment and employment opportunities that threatened the sustainability of fish stocks. Through the academic courses offered by USP’s Marine Studies programme, practitioners were able to collectively contribute to new measures aimed at combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the minister said, adding that this was evident in the region’s collaborative participation in the management of tuna resources under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Fishing for data: the role of private data platforms in addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and overfishing
ODI, January 2018

New technologies offer unique opportunities to support fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance, particularly for countries in Africa and other regions without the means to patrol their waters or enforce legislation against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and overfishing. This is the first comprehensive analysis of fisheries data platforms available. The briefing note highlights how developed countries and multilateral organisations have been slow to exploit these opportunities, and have failed to produce a single, effective, public global fisheries information tool. Although private initiatives tackling overfishing and IUU fishing using satellite and data technologies have emerged in recent years to bridge this gap, their potential is undermined by the limited size and insufficient quality of their datasets. Better data management and closer collaboration between these initiatives are needed, alongside improved fisheries governance and greater efforts to tackle corruption and curtail practices including the use of flags of convenience and secret fisheries agreements.

A lack of big data is hampering efforts to curb illegal fishing in Africa
Quartz Africa, January 18, 2018 

The lack of a comprehensive database on fishing vessels, their exact location, and if they were engaging in illicit activities is undermining the global efforts to curb illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, a new study says. The lack of big data infrastructure and better cooperation mechanisms are hindering governments from tackling illegal trawling, says UK-based independent think tank Overseas Development Institute. The problem is especially severe for African nations who have limited access to enforcement capabilities and where illegal fishing annually cheats governments billions of dollars in revenue. Private initiatives tackling overfishing were limited in their scope when it comes to collecting datasets or employing remote sensing capabilities, says the study. To better monitor their location and movements, vessels are required to be fitted with communications equipment known as vessel management systems (VMS) or automatic identification systems (AIS). Yet many ships do not install them, especially in low-income countries where these new technologies aren’t accessible, or crews switch them off to evade arrest or surveillance. And while the AIS signals can detect the geography, speed, and direction of the boats, it is still limited in identifying the gear and techniques in use, or if a boat is pillaging marine beds or depleting vulnerable species.

Illegal Fishing Harming West Africa, Says Greenpeace
MAREX, 21/11/2017

Vessels arrested for illegally fishing in West African waters are still carrying on with business as usual, according to a Greenpeace Africa report released this week. The Cost of Ocean Destruction details how West African fishermen and communities continue to suffer from the consequences of over-fishing and illegal fishing. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has raised concerns about the repercussions of stock depletion due to over-fishing on food security and the economy of West Africa, where around seven million people are part of the value chain and rely on fish for income and employment, while many millions more depend on fish as a source of animal protein. It is estimated that around 300,000 jobs have been lost in the artisanal sectors due to a lack of policies that protect both fisheries and livelihoods. It is estimated that around 40 percent of all fish caught in West African waters are caught illegally, and around 54 percent of the region’s fish stocks are over-fished Pavel Klinckhamers, project leader in Greenpeace Netherlands, said: “The current situation in West Africa is a result of decades of over-fishing and inaction, but it is also a result of commitments from West African governments and foreign fishing nations, like China, South Korea and the E.U., that were simply never translated into reality. Coastal communities are the ones paying the price and they cannot wait any longer. African states and foreign fishing nations in the region have to change course and put in place the policies that these communities need in order to survive.”

Fisheries and MEPs demand harshness with illegal fish imports
fis, 06/10/ 2017

The European fisheries sector, represented by Europêche and MEP Linnéa Engström, a member of the Greens in the European Parliament, are to call on the European Commission to develop more effective rules to ensure that only fish coming from sustainable fleets, both socially and environmentally, should be imported into the European Union. The announcement will be made during ‘Our Ocean’ conference, held this week in Malta. The request is based on the fact that at present many fishery products sold on EU markets come from precarious fishing activities which do not meet the requirements of ecological sustainability nor respect the crew members’ international social and labour rights; requirements that, paradoxically, are required of the European fishing industry. The request to the Commission considers it important to in the near future set a coherent legal framework, based on strict environmental and social regulations, applicable both to EU-origin fishery products and to those imported from third countries to the Community market, including free trade deals.

Illegal and unregulated fishing in Seychelles impacting environment, economy, official says
Seychelles News Agency, 05/09/2017

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) in the waters of Seychelles is contributing to economic losses and environmental impacts with big implications for the island nation said a local fisheries official. “Considering that the Seychelles’ economy highly depends on industrial fisheries, IUU fishing can have direct impacts on the Seychelles’ economy,” said Johnny Louys, a senior fisheries monitoring officer at the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA). Louys said, “A study done in 2005 suggested losses due to unreported fishing in Seychelles cost up to $7.5million per year.” Although there have been limited studies on the effect of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing on the economy of Seychelles, Louys said that the consequences are evident. Fisheries contribute to Seychelles’ economy through license fees collected, port landings and transshipment of catches, fuel, port and other essential services. It is also one of the main foreign exchange earning sectors for the economy of the island nation. Louys said that in 2013 “the fisheries sector contributed to 35 percent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).” The sector also provides jobs to individuals involved in land based operation such as processing, export activities, net repairs, ship chandling and stevedoring among others.

Illegal activities cause of lower fisheries output, revenue —Lokpobiri, 22/08/2017

The fisheries output in Nigeria currently falls far short of demand for fish, according to the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri. He said fisheries requirement in the country is over three million metric tonnes, but what Nigeria produces just about 1.1 million metric tonnes, with still a gap of about 2 million metric tonnes. The minister disclosed this during a meeting with the national committee on Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures (HSOP) at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja. He lamented that the illegal activities of fishing companies was partly responsible for this. “Our territorial waters are not policed to prevent illegal unregistered fishing. The Chinese, Russian and others are coming to Nigerian territorial waters and freely fishing,” he said. “Part of the reports we got is that you hardly will see vessels that are arrested and brought to Nigeria on account of fishing illegally without permit on our territorial waters.”

Sweden pledges USD$5.4m to help FAO tackle illegal fishing
FAO, June 2017

Sweden has made a USD$5.4m contribution to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) activities to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The pledge was made following an FAO co-hosted event to discuss one such initiative; the Port State Measures Agreement, which took place in Oslo, Norway. After a meeting between FAO’s director-general, José Graziano da Silva, and Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs, Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister Bucht said: “The Port State Measures Agreement is one of the most important tools for addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Such fishing activities are a threat to marine life and impede the development and prosperity of vulnerable countries. This harmful fishing must be completely stopped.” The Port State Measures Agreement event, which discussed progress, one year in which it went into effect, of the world’s first treaty designed to combat illegal fishing, was also co-hosted by the governments of Norway, Sweden, Indonesia and Palau.

Caribbean Fisheries Legal and Institutional Study: Findings of the comparative assessment and country reports
FAO/ 2016

This study assessed basic fisheries legislation and institutional frameworks of member countries of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC). Its objective was to provide a baseline comparison of national legal and institutional frameworks for fisheries management and to identify the extent to which national legal and institutional frameworks provide a suitable foundation for the regulation of commercial and recreational/sport fishing and the conservation of billfish resources in the region, including through the use of rights based approaches.

Mozambique loses US$57 million a year due to illegal fishing, 29/11/2016

Mozambique annually loses the equivalent of US$57 million due to illegal fishing and other harmful practices, in the absence of effective maritime surveillance along nearly 2,800 kilometres of coastline, said the director of Operations of the Ministry of the Sea, Interior Waters and Fisheries. Leonid Chimarizene also told weekly newspaper Domingo that Mozambique differs from most coastal countries because it allows ships to moor at any port, “which means that we must have inspectors all along the coast.” Saying that this is one of the challenges in combating illegal fishing, Chimarizene said the Ministry was working on overcoming this problem through the Fisheries Community Councils, which include properly organised fishing associations. For example, he said, the Community Council for Fisheries for the Costa do Sol area, in the city of Maputo, self-monitors all fishermen in the area and may report anyone who tries to fish illegally. Chimarizene also said pleasure boats that flock to the coast, mainly from South Africa were a problem, along with other pleasure craft, with long ranges, sailing to prohibited areas, where they hunt and fish protected species among other activities.

Pacific fight against IUU goes high tech, 23/11/2016

The Pacific Islands’ fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has gone up another notch with the successful completion of a five-day training in Fiji of fisheries officers of 10 island nations. With the leadership of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), headquartered in Honiara, the fisheries officers have returned to their respective offices to spearhead the efficient capturing and analyzing of data on tuna catches and tuna fleet that are fishing in Pacific waters. “The five day RIMF training has been very productive and participants now return to work armed with the new knowledge on how they can capture data better,” said Kenneth Katafono, FFA’s Manager IT and lead trainer of the RIMF workshop. “Participants were also able to trial a new RIMF app we had developed, and thanks to the support of the New Zealand Government, each country representative was given a new Samsung tablet that will help their boarding and inspection work when they return to their respective countries.”

FAO to help combat illegal fishing in Latin America and the Caribbean, 17/11/2016

cooperation project to support eleven Latin American and Caribbean countries to put an end to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. “Illegal fishing threatens not only food security and fishery resource sustainability and conservation but also the economic well-being of two million people who depend on fishing for their livelihood,” explained Tito Díaz, FAO subregional coordinator for Mesoamerica. The project, which was presented to fishing organisations of the countries of the region during a high-level meeting in Panama, will allow Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic to take coordinated steps towards the elimination of illegal fishing, strengthening their control mechanisms and institutions in the sector.

Govt of Guyana and FAO settle agreement to fight IUU fishing, 20/09/2016

The Government of Guyana signed a Port of State Measures Agreement (PSMA) with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) intended to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Guyana’s waters. The USD 500,000 project includes technical assistance and a monitoring and evaluation process upon completion within the next 18 months. Once these measures are implemented, Guyana will benefit tremendously as the measures will ensure that the country maintains its fish stock as it will now be able to integrate and coordinate fisheries related port State measures with the broader system of port State controls. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture George Jervis expressed gratitude to the FAO for such a timely intervention.

Illegal Fishing in Pacific Ocean, 12/09/2016

The recent Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting in the Federated States of Micronesia has identified illegal fishing as a threat for Pacific Countries. Leaders from various Pacific nations have collectively sought for transparency and fairness in the Fisheries Sector. PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said millions in revenue has been lost through illegal fishing activities in the Pacific Ocean, with more damage to the Pacific marine ecosystem. Illegal fishing activities in the Pacific Ocean continue to go unreported. Thus Pacific Island Leaders have decided to implement the Tokelau Agreement following the close of their meeting last week. The Tokelau Agreement is centred around the conservation and management of marine resources in the Pacific Ocean. The exporting of fish and other marine resources is an important and largest income source for Pacific Island nations.

The menace of Illegal fishing in West Africa, 23/08/2016

The coast of West Africa is home to some of the most abundant fishing grounds on the planet. Historically, these rich waters teem with some of the world’s most sought after fish, such as mackerel, marlin, shrimp, sardines, barracuda and more. For thousands of years, coastal West Africans have relied on this plentiful bounty for both sustenance and livelihood. Today illegal fishing has put this ancient relationship in jeopardy and the fate of West Africa’s fishing future now lies in the balance. There are two paths ahead, and interestingly they could not be more different. One road leads to the irreversible desolation of African fisheries. The other route not only promises to reverse the harm done, but usher in a new wave of prosperity throughout the region, benefiting millions of Africans in the process.

Collaboration is the key in the fight against illegal fishing, 17/03/2016

The lure of the potential riches that can be made from illegal fishing is just too much a temptation for some criminals around the globe. Wherever you look – despite most nations tightening controls, improving monitoring and investing in fisheries protection schemes – there will always be those who continue to chance their luck when the rewards are so great (…) Only effective collaboration will be the biggest deterrent.

Fighting illegal fishing: Warnings for Kiribati, Sierra Leone and Trinidad & Tobago, while Sri Lanka is delisted, 22/04/2016

Today the Commission expands the global fight against illegal fishing by warning three more countries in the Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. Kiribati, Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago risk being listed as uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. At the same time, the Commission lifts the red card and associated trade measures off Sri Lanka, as it has significantly improved its national fisheries governance. European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “Today’s decisions are yet another sign of the EU’s determination to fight illegal fishing globally. It also shows that we can bring important players on board: Sri Lanka has now a robust legal and policy framework to fight illegal fishing activities. As the fight against IUU fishing is part of the EU’s commitment towards sustainability and good ocean governance, each third country that comes on board is an asset.”

–  Sierra Leone News: Increase in illegal fishing…World Bank frowns at JMC closure, 11/02/2016

The World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone, Parminder Brar, yesterday in a press briefing raised serious concern over the present Condition of the Joint Monitoring Centre that was set up to monitor illegal fishing along the coast of Sierra Leone. It could be recalled that the World Bank started work in developing the West African Regional Fisheries Programme as a way of preventing the problem of rampant illegal fishing by Asiatic and European fishing vessels that took over from the previous industrial fisheries by factory vessels from Russia. Industrial fisheries in many African countries including Sierra Leone was out of control with many illegal trawlers, some of which are destructive pair fishing right up the coast and most of these vessels destroyed artisanal fishing gears, prevented native fishermen from fishing and reduced fish stock by catching juveniles.

Trade-Related Measures to Address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing
ICTSD, 19-06-2015 

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major problem with worldwide social, environmental, and economic impacts. Commonly linked to fish piracy or seafood fraud, IUU fishing describes fishing that violates international, regional, or domestic fisheries management, conservation, or reporting laws. As well as being a major contributor to the global ecological crisis of overfishing and biodiversity depletion, IUU fishing harms legitimate fishing activities and livelihoods, jeopardises food security, consolidates transnational crime, distorts markets, and undermines ongoing efforts to implement sustainable fisheries policies. There are similarities between IUU fishing and the illegal logging that deprives developing countries of valuable exports and taxes, impacts the livelihood of indigenous peoples and forest-dwelling communities, and causes massive deforestation and biodiversity depletion. Effective regulatory oversight and implementation of these activities is essential to avoid major adverse implications for present and future livelihoods that extend beyond fisheries (or forestry) to ecological balance itself. In order to solve these problems, measures that impose stringent import documentation, certification, or traceability requirements, regulate transhipment, or prohibit the trade in relevant products are very important. As with every major regulatory policy, such measures are likely to affect the existing conditions of trade between countries, many of whom are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This think-piece provides a comparative legal analysis of such measures and initiatives, and concludes with recommendations for governments, international organisations, private actors, and the global community.

Interpol receives evidence of IUU fishing in the Southern Ocean, 10 March 2015
Nigerian-flagged, internationally wanted vessel, Thunder, has finally been stopped after conducting  performing illegal fishing for toothfish in the Southern Ocean. Sea Shepherd the non-government organization has been proactive in the 11th Southern Ocean Defence Campaign called Operation Icefish to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Local police, Coast Guard, the Scene of Crime officers, Mauritian Fisheries officers, as well as other local and international Interpol officials were all involved in the tracking.The Nigerien vessel, Thunder, has been on IUU fishing vessel list of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) since 2006 because its illegal fishing activity in CCAMLR waters, which clearly undermines the convention’s conservation objectives.

Illegal fishing costs South Africa billions
CNBCAfrica, 24 October 2014
Serge Raemaekers, a University of Cape Town academic and researcher said the startling figures required an all-encompassing action from civil society, communities and government to address the challenge of poaching in the country’s marine economy. Most poachers have expressed interest in abalone and lobster partly due to their demand in Hong Kong, China and other Asian economies. Abalone is used for food while its shells are used as decorative items and as a source of pearls for jewellery while lobsters are considered economically important and one of the most profitable commodities in the coastal areas they populate.

ECJ finds Swedish fisheries in Western Sahara illegal
Western Sahara Resource Watch, 12 October 2014
The European Court of Justice has in an answer to a question from a Swedish court of appeal informed that private fisheries agreements with Moroccan authorities are not allowed outside of the context of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. The ECJ on 9 October 2014 passed a ruling which is part of a many-year long legal process going on in Swedish courts. The dispute has been whether it was legal or not for the fishermen to carry out fisheries activities in what the court process labeled “Moroccan fishing zone” at the same time as the EU had a Fisheries Partnership Agreement with Morocco. The entire EU fishing fleet is supposed to be taking place through authorisations given by Brussels. Two Swedish fishermen were in 2009 charged by the Swedish district court of Gothenburg with illegal fishing during a period April 2007 to May 2008.

Illegal Fishing Rampant as West African Nations Pay Heavy Price
Bloomberg, October 10, 2014
West African countries are almost powerless to prevent illegal fishing that is depleting stocks and robbing states of revenue, according to a fisheries expert who is visiting the region. “In most West African countries, surveillance and monitoring is almost zero, most African countries don’t even have a single vessel, or even a small craft,” Professor Daniel Pauly, a fisheries specialist from University of British Columbia, said by phone from the Namibian town of Swakopmund. An inability to enforce quotas results in vessels fishing well beyond licensed levels, while illegal operators exploit the resources at will in barely monitored or policed West African waters, Pauly said. Revenue from fishing, which could be reinvested into surveillance and monitoring systems, is being redirected elsewhere in the region’s economies or lost through mismanagement and corruption, he said.

The Tuna Industry’s Role in Ending Illegal Fishing
National Geographic, August 6, 2014
As a seafood lover and a conscientious consumer, I try to know where my tuna comes from. I want to know that the fish I buy is not only good for me but also being caught in a way that keeps the ocean healthy, too. When fishing vessels use a registration number to identify themselves, seafood processors and distributers can take note of exactly who caught the fish, as well as where and how they caught it.  They can pass that information on to retailers and consumers like us. It’s a simple enough concept that increases retailer and consumer confidence in what we are buying. That’s the kind of traceability we all want, and it starts with the vessels on the water. If transparency methods like ‘can codes,’ which would allow a consumer to trace the tuna in the can back to the vessel that caught it, are ever going to live up to their full potential, it is essential that all large-scale vessels are outfitted with unique and permanent numbers first.

Japan, US called to join the EU in IUU battle
FIS, 11 June 2014
The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has welcomed the announcement by the European Commission that the Philippines and Papua New Guinea have been formally warned that they risk facing trade sanctions unless they cooperate in combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU), or pirate, fishing.The announcement was made in a press briefing in Brussels by the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki. The two countries have been warned over inadequate levels of traceability for the seafood they export to the EU and weak controls over vessels that fly their flags.

Fishery sustainability and combating illegal fisheries become Govt’s non-negotiable priorities
FIS, 5 May 2014,
The head of the General Fisheries Secretariat of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA), Carlos Dominguez, ensured that “to the Government of Spain to ensure fishery resource sustainability and to effectively combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are two non-negotiable priorities.”
This was explained by the official after signing a letter of intent with the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA) in order to provide greater transparency, improve monitoring and to establish greater control over the activities of the fishing fleet registered in third countries.

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