The United States joined more than 50 countries Thursday in a recommendation to regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) to better track vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for tunas, swordfish, sharks and other highly migratory species. Annual global economic losses due to IUU fishing are estimated to be as high as $23 billion.
This action is a first step toward procedures for sharing information about vessels engaged in IUU fishing. Global cooperation to prevent IUU fishing coupled with sound science and effective management are essential to the sustainability of these wide-ranging species that are highly valued in commercial and recreational fisheries.
The recommendation means that the nations that make up the five regional fishery management organizations managing highly migratory species in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and adjacent seas will share information about IUU vessels. RFMO rules require their member nations to prevent IUU fishing in their regions. Sharing information about IUU vessels across the RFMOs means an IUU vessel previously listed in only one region would have more difficulty avoiding detection by moving to another region.
"Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing undermines the sustainability of fisheries and the ability of fishermen who abide by the rules to make a decent living," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "Sharing information on IUU vessels across oceans will strengthen enforcement and prevent legal and sustainable fishing operations from being disadvantaged in the global marketplace."
This outcome was a key goal for the NOAA-led U.S. delegation to the third joint meeting of the world's regional fisheries management organizations that manage tunas and other highly migratory species. This week's meeting, known as Kobe III because it is the third in a series that b
|Contact: Monica Allen|
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service