About this Research Topic
Fisheries crimes, most commonly falling under the umbrella of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported fishing or IUU, constitute a major threat to the oceans, fish stocks, livelihoods of fishing communities around the world and their food security, and often human lives. IUU fishing is estimated to generate $23 billion USD in loss every year, mostly concentrated in the waters of developing or poor countries, such as those of West Africa where illegal fishing constitutes up to 20% of the global loss. In addition, transnational crimes including drug trafficking, modern slavery, money laundering, and even murder, are often associated with illegal fishing vessels. As illegal fishing vessels often go under the radar, their catches unreported, and their activities barely sanctioned due to corruption, lack of governance, or poor ability of countries with regards to financial and human resources, it becomes necessary to analyze both the economics and the incentives behind illegal fishing. What are the impacts on fish stocks, the species targeted, and who are the main perpetrators? How does illegal fishing impact small-scale fishers’ livelihoods, and what are the social and economic losses beyond the landed value? What drives illegal fishing vessels to engage in such operations? What is the appropriate level of sanctioning required? We will look at examples from around the world and conclude on major global, regional, and local policy recommendations.
Keywords: Illegal fishing, natural resource crimes, IUU, catch data, Monitoring Control and Surveillance