NOAA advances in the fight against IUU fishing

Date: January 19, 2017

Source & Author: FIS

In order to move forward with repression of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices worldwide, NOAA Fisheries has published its 2017 Biennial Report to Congress.

The report highlights the findings and analyzes foreign IUU fishing activities and bycatch of protected species and the capture of sharks on the high seas.

Among the countries identified as having vessels reported to be involved in IUU activities during 2014-2016 are Ecuador, Mexico and the Russian Federation.

On behalf of the United States, NOAA Fisheries will dialogue with each nation to encourage actions to address these activities and improve management and enforcement practices.

The report states that of the six countries identified for maintaining IUU fishing practices, five (Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Portugal) took steps to address the problems, and have a positive certification.

As for Mexico, although it has made advances, it needs to make significant progress, such as the increase in surveillance patrols, the reduction of engine subsidies and the initiation and resolution of enforcement cases. Therefore, it has not yet achieved its positive certification.

According to the 2017 report, no nations were identified for bycatch of protected living marine resources or for shark catch on the high seas.

When NOAA Fisheries negatively certifies a nation, this means it has not taken sufficient action to address the IUU fishing activities that formed the basis for its original identification. Therefore, that nation is subject to prohibitions on fisheries product imports into the United States and denial of port privileges for its fishing vessels.

NOAA stresses that IUU fishing not only undermines international efforts to sustainably manage and rebuild fisheries, but also creates unfair market competition for fishermen playing by the rules, like those in the United States.

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