Secure Fisheries is a program of the One Earth Future Foundation (OEF), which was founded and is funded by businessman and philanthropist Marcel Arsenault. Marcel Arsenault established the foundation as a means to actively contribute to a more peaceful world. His passion for solving complex problems through multi-stakeholder engagement led Marcel to create OEF in his home state of Colorado.
IUU Fishing FAQs
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing refers to fishing activities that either break fisheries laws or occur beyond the reach of fisheries laws and regulations. The FAO International Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal unreported and unregulated fishing (IPOA-IUU) contains the following internationally accepted definition.
Illegal fishing refers to fishing activities:
- Conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without permission of that State, or in contravention to its laws and regulations;
- Conducted by vessels flying the flag of States that are parties to a relevant regional fisheries management organization but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures adopted by that organization and by which the States are bound, or relevant provisions of the applicable international law; or
- In violation of national laws or international obligations, including t hose undertaken by cooperating States to a relevant regional fisheries management organization.
Unreported fishing refers to fishing activities:
- Which have not been reported, or have been misreported, to the relevant national authority, in contravention of national laws and regulations; or
- Undertaken in the area of competence of a relevant regional fisheries management organization which have not been reported of have been misreported, in contravention of the reporting procedures of that organization.
Unregulated fishing refers to fishing activities:
- In the area of application of a relevant fisheries management organization that are conducted by vessels without nationality, or by those flying the flag of a State not party to that organization, or by a fishing entity, in a manner that is not consistent with or contravenes the conservation and management measures of that organization; or
- In areas or for fish stocks in relation to which there are no applicable conservation or management measure and where such fishing activities are conducted in a manner inconsistent with State responsibilities for the conservation of living marine resources under international law.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Part V, contains the following internationally accepted definition of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
An EEZ is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal state and the rights and freedoms of other states are governed by the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). EEZs cannot extend beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. Within the EEZ, the coastal state has:
- Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters super-adjacent to the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;
- Jurisdiction as provided for the relevant provisions of this Convention with regard to:
- The establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures;
- Marine scientific research;
- The protection and preservation of the marine environment;
- Other rights and duties provided for in this Convention.
Monitoring, control and surveillance, or MCS, is a tool with which fisheries can be observed and their rules enforced. The following FAO definition is the most commonly accepted and stems from the 1981 MCS Conference of Experts in Rome.
- Monitoring – the continuous requirement for the measurement of fishing effort characteristics and resource yields.
- Control – the regulatory conditions under which the exploitation of the resource may be conducted.
- Surveillance – the degree and types of observations required to maintain compliance with the regulatory controls imposed on fishing activities.
The FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, better known as the Port State Measures Agreement, is a mechanism intended to prevent IUU fishing. It was adopted by the FAO Conference in 2009 and entered into force on June 5, 2016. Port State measures are established requirements or actions undertaken by state authorities in port which a foreign fishing vessel must comply with or is subjected to as a condition for use of the port; these can include the inspection of fishing licenses, catch certificates and gear among others. The implementation of the port State measures outlined in the Agreement aims to aid in the harmonization of port State measures, increase regional and international cooperation and stop the flow of IUU-caught fish into markets. The full text of the Port State Measures Agreement can be found here.