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7 Feb 2020 - When the UN launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) five years ago, the world aligned around the need to end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing by 2020 (SDG 14.4). Seen then as an achievable target, it is now a deadline we’re going to miss.

IUU fishing accounts for nearly 20% of the world catch; up to 50% in some areas, with poorer coastal states disproportionately affected. In the Pacific Ocean, a report estimated 24% of the fish are unreported and illegally traded in international markets. This directly leads to $4.3-8.3 billion of loss in gross revenues every year to the formal economy, and up to $21 billion per year across the fish value chain. In addition, destructive fishing methods and deceptive practices are being used to reap profits at the expense of local fisheries, coastal states and the marine environment. In some cases, IUU fishers are associated with crimes including drugs, weapons and human rights abuses.

The problem stands to worsen. Climate change is expected to decrease the quantity of fish available globally and alter where they can be caught. At the same time, global consumption and demand for seafood is projected to increase by 20% (30 million tonnes) by 2030, particularly in developing nations. Conflicts over increasingly scarce resources have already begun, such as in Sierra Leone, where skirmishes between artisanal fishers and larger IUU trawlers are common.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we have a suite of tools with which to take on IUU fishers.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/02/fast-tracking-law-abiding-ships-ports-could-help-end-illegal-fishing

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Publication date: 
07/02/2020
Publication Organisation: 
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Publication Author: 
Nicola Frost, Tony Long, Stephanie Juwana and Mansi Konar
Thematic Area: 
Sustainable fisheries
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