Fighting illegal fishing
IUU fishing practices have dire consequences for multiple stakeholders in achieving a sustainable blue economy, including vulnerable coastal communities in less developed countries that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, as well as for large and small-scale fishers that abide by the rules but lose out when there are no fish left. The biggest impact the EU can have to eliminate IUU fishing is to have a zero tolerance view on the import and sale of illegal seafood products in its market.
The WWF EPO works to maximise the impact of the EU’s IUU Regulation, which aims to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing. To date, the EU's IUU Regulation has instigated some key improvements in the global fight against illegal fishing, but significant gaps remain to successfully implement the requirements that block the import and sale of illegally-sourced seafood products in the European market. The EPO aims to ensure that EU Member States are applying effective controls on the seafood they import to guarantee their legality, thereby demanding fully traceable and transparent seafood supply chains.
The EPO also holds the European Commission accountable to its position as an international leader to set the example for sustainable fishing practices worldwide. We provide evidence-based recommendations and strategic vision to help the EU achieve this position, and build relationships with external stakeholders to leverage the EU’s influence to improve international fisheries governance.
As part of the EU IUU Watch Coalition, WWF EPO broadens its work to combat illegal fishing and improve transparency in the fisheries sector by ensuring the effective and harmonized implementation of the EU IUU Regulation and by encouraging the EU to effectively support global policy changes via its influence as a major flag and market State.
The EPO’s work to combat IUU fishing is made possible thanks to the project financing of Oceans5 and NORAD.
Joint NGO position paper on the revision of the EU Fisheries Control System, June 2018
The impact of the EU IUU Regulation on seafood trade flows, February 2018 - full report and executive summary
The need for mandatory IMO numbers for vessels catching seafood for the EU market, May 2017
The EU IUU Regulation - Analysis: Implementation of EU seafood import controls, March 2017
Improving performance in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, January 2017
Risk Assessment and Verification of Catch Certificates under the EU IUU Regulation, November 2016