Bringing the Indian and Pacific oceans together on IUU Fishing – Analysis

Date: December 15, 2021

Source: EurasiaReview

The Bay of Bengal is a hot spot for illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. Unauthorised tuna longlining and transshipment takes place on the high seas in contravention of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s conservation measures. There is underreported and/or non-reporting to the authorities, vessels operating under flags of convenience, stateless vessels using falsified registry documentation, vessels obscuring markings or failing to have vessel documentation. This is all part of the wider problem in the Indian Ocean of IUU fishing. At the other end of the spectrum is the western central Pacific Ocean, which, in many ways, represents the gold standard of combating the problem of IUU fishing. As in other oceans, IUU fishing comes in many shapes and forms in the Pacific islands but is especially concerning because the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) members cover 28 percent of the world’s Exclusive Economic zones (EEZs) and 55 percent of global tuna production valued at US $2.5 billion. Naturally, the Pacific offers many lessons for the Indian Ocean to curb this pressing problem and in effect bring the two oceans together for a stronger Indo-Pacific. But before the lessons are delineated, it is important to comprehend the problem in all its nuances.

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