Sea Shepherd’s Commitment to End
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing
Combating, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is an international priority. IUU fishing contributes to the overfishing of stocks around the globe by circumventing existing management systems and undermining the sustainability of all fisheries, the communities that depend on them, and food security. The large number of developing countries that depend on fisheries for food security and export income are particularly vulnerable. IUU fishing is a critical issue today because many fish stocks have already been overexploited by legal fishing activities. IUU fishing therefore puts fish stocks under additional pressure.
Why Focus on Africa?
Africa is home to some of the world’s richest tuna grounds. But more than 50% of the fisheries resources in the stretch of coast ranging from Senegal to Nigeria alone have already been overfished according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Many of the Coastal States in that stretch of coast do not have patrol vessels of their own. Given that in many African countries, fish provide more than 60% of animal protein and in coastal communities almost 100% of these proteins, IUU fishing is a serious threat to the people who depend on the sea for their survival. There are three IUU issues of special concern for Africa: unlicensed foreign industrial vessels; fishing in prohibited areas, particularly close to shore, using illegal nets; and unreported catch and by-catch by legal operators. It is the single greatest threat to cetaceans, with over 300,000 whales and dolphins killed through entanglement annually.