World Ocean Council partners with USAID to combat IUU fishing in Asia-Pacific region
The World Ocean Council and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced a collaboration to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and enhance the sustainability of Asia-Pacific fisheries.
The WOC is an international business alliance that includes seafood industry members and USAID Oceans is a partnership between USAID and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center. Collectively, the two organizations plan to build a regional innovation and partnership platform to develop and encourage the use of a catch documentation and traceability system (CDTS) to fight IUU fishing.
“Through the partnership, the WOC will work with USAID Oceans to engage the private sector to support the CDTS development and implementation. The WOC will assemble, coordinate and facilitate a group of key companies and organizations that can support the CDTS in conjunction with the WOC Smart Oceans-Smart Industries program,” WOC said in a press release.
Goals of the project include enhancing the sustainability of Asia-Pacific fisheries, protecting the region’s marine biodiversity, and combating IUU fishing, the organizations said.
As part of the project, USAID Oceans will work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Coral Triangle member countries to enhance catch documentation and traceability, fisheries management and human welfare. Once it is developed, USAID Oceans will pilot the CDTS in two learning sites, General Santos City, Philippines, and Bitung, Indonesia, with regional expansion and capacity building in traceability and fisheries management to follow.
In the meantime, the WOC will be recruiting companies and organizations to join the CDTS Technical Advisory Group. Simultaneously, it will seek to identify key companies from fisheries, technology, data management, telecommunications and other sectors “essential to the development, improvement, operation and expansion of the CDTS,” it said.
Lastly, the groups will identify approaches and strategic partnerships for industry and governments to expand the availability of lower-cost technologies and remote, at-sea connectivity to support the expansion of data collection for CDT, fisheries management and enforcement.