IUU fishing costs the seafood industry between US$10bn and US$36.4bn each year Photo: NOAAIUU fishing costs the seafood industry between US$10bn and US$36.4bn each year Photo: NOAA

Five industry stakeholders are calling for urgent action to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, a practice which costs the seafood sector up to US$36.4 billion annually.

The five groups, which together represent more than 150 companies, are Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship, the Global Tuna Alliance, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability, and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

In their ‘Statement on Traceability and Port State Measures’, the groups call on governments to implement control measures aligned with the FAO’s Agreement on Port State Measures, an international treaty that requires port inspections and other measures to prevent IUU catch from being brought ashore. Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Co-Chair, Friends of Ocean Action, agrees. “There must be nowhere to land and nowhere to sell fish and seafood that is caught illegally,” he said.

“Ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is essential to ensuring a sustainable blue economy and the maintenance of a thriving ocean,” he added.

The statement also urges the private sector to work with governments to help transform the transparency and accountability of seafood supply chains.

“Reducing, and ultimately eradicating, IUU fishing is essential to achieve this and requires industry and governments to act together to prevent IUU fish from entering value chains,” said Bill DiMento, vice president corporate sustainability and government affairs, High Liner Foods and Chair of the GSSI Steering Board.

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