The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified seven countries including Angola, Grenada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, The Gambia, and Vanuatu as nations and entities participating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in its 2023 report congress.
IUU fishing is a low-risk, high-reward activity, especially on the high seas where a fragmented legal framework and lack of effective enforcement allow it to thrive.
Two of those nations were also cited for issues relating to forced labour, and two were identified for issues related to shark catch.
The biennial report titled “2023 Report to Congress on Improving International Fisheries Management”, starts a two-year process for the identified countries to take the necessary steps to address IUU fishing, with potential import restrictions for those that do not comply.
The report also announced certification determinations for 31 nations and entities for illegal fishing and/or bycatch of protected living marine resources from its 2021 report, including positive certifications for Costa Rica, Guyana, Senegal, and Taiwan.
A report by the International Trade Commission found that the United States imported $2.4 billion worth of seafood derived from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in 2019, which can severely deplete fish populations, destroy habitats, and threaten global food security.
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