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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
fis.com, 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.