EU called on to drive minimum measures to fight illegal fishing | WWF

EU called on to drive minimum measures to fight illegal fishing

Posted on 05 June 2019
Reinforcing the EU's multilateral actions to promote best practices
© Environmental Justice Foundation
On Wednesday, 5 June, on the International Day Against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, five organisations launch a report outlining the minimum transparency and anti-IUU fishing measures deemed vital for Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), the international and transnational bodies who manage fisheries activities for many the world's most valuable fish stocks, to adopt and implement. These recommendations span from the point of harvest (where identification and tracking of vessels activities are needed), through the landing, transportation and trade of fish products, including traceability systems along the value chain.

It is estimated that up to one in five wild caught fish is fished illegally, the product of an illicit global business worth billions each year, corresponding to at least 15% of the world’s catches. As a major global fishing power and the world’s largest trader of fishery and aquaculture products in terms of value in 2016, its active and influential role as a member of 16 RFMOs worldwide, and in light of the significant commitments it has made to improve international ocean governance, the EU is called upon to recognise and stand up to its unique and critical position to drive policy changes and prompt actions by other markets to fight IUU fishing.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Nature Conservancy, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF - the EU IUU Coalition - call on the EU to:
  1. Continue leading on promoting transparent fisheries governance at a global level;
  2. Build alliances with the contracting parties and cooperating non contracting parties (CPCs) of RFMOs, in intensifying efforts to effectively implement measures for tackling IUU fishing practices; and
  3. Establish (when not in place) and enforce RFMO measures that would trigger action against CPCs in cases of non-compliance.
With the environmental and economic viability of global fisheries in crisis, IUU fishing remains one of the biggest threats to the sustainable management of marine resources. IUU fishing adds pressure to already overexploited fish stocks, while simultaneously compromising efforts to rebuild them; it distorts global fish markets and prices, leaving legal fishermen disadvantaged; and it often occurs alongside other crimes such as human rights abuses, drugs and weapons trafficking, tax fraud and corruption.
Reinforcing the EU's multilateral actions to promote best practices
© Environmental Justice Foundation Enlarge