NOAA recognizes International Day for the Fight Against IUU Fishing
On Friday, NOAA’s top administrators recognized U.S. officials working to fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing as part of International Day for the Fight Against IUU Fishing, which occurs on 5 June each year.
The day was created in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, which adopted the day as part of its annual resolution on sustainable fisheries. The date reflects when the Port States Measures Agreement officially entered into force as an international treaty.
“It’s encouraging to see government, private industry, and NGOs increasingly working shoulder-to-shoulder to stop IUU fishing,” Drew Lawler, the deputy assistant secretary for International Fisheries, said in a NOAA release. “We’re looking at ways to close off the supply chain to bad actors that fish outside the quota system through their use of unreported transshipments, illegal gear and harmful methods that result in unacceptable bycatch and those fleet owners that use enslaved and forced labor.”
Combating IUU fishing has been an ongoing fight across the world, with costs associated with it estimated to be as high as USD 50 billion (EUR 44 billion).
“On this day ... we take time to recognize the tireless work of law enforcement officials, data and policy analysts, human rights advocates, as well as the businesses, communities and governments who uphold the laws and principles of sustainable fisheries and marine conservation,” NOAA wrote.
Lawler said the organization is continually working to combat IUU.
“The good news is fishing authorities from nations around the world are stepping up internal oversight of their fleets,” Lawler said. “While we’re making progress, there remains much work to be done. For decades, bad actors have fished with impunity while their governments looked the other way. This is changing.”
Photo courtesy of NOAA