Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is one of the biggest threats to marine biodiversity and sustainable fishing. Every year between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish is caught through IUU fishing. This costs the industry between $10 and $23 billion annually and threatens food security in many parts of the world. Estimates indicate that IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total global catch. IUU fishing is also considered a major threat to fisheries resources in the Caribbean region, undermining regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks. IUU fishing also prevents governments of the CARICOM countries from achieving their nationally and regionally agreed-upon fisheries management goals and objectives.
IUU fishing leads to the loss of both short and long-term social and economic opportunities and to negative effects on food security and environmental protection. If IUU fishing is not dealt with, it can lead to the collapse of a fishery or seriously impair efforts to rebuild stocks that have already been depleted. The fight against IUU fishing must be prioritized in order to ensure food security, guarantee income and livelihoods for legitimate fishers, as well as continued export earnings from fisheries.
The issue brief (available here) provides an overview of international and regional policies and agreements that are essential in the fight against IUU fishing in the Caribbean region.