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Preventing IUU Fishing in Tuna Fisheries | Tuna RFMO Best Practice Snapshots


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RFMO Best Practice Snapshots — IUU Vessel Listing & Transshipment Regulation

Our “snapshots” identify best practices that Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) should follow to manage tuna fisheries sustainably. In detailed tables, the snapshots compare tuna RFMO progress in implementing the practices. We also publish companion “best-practices reports” on these topics. Here we highlight two snapshots that address the topic of Illegal, unreported, or unregulated (IUU) fishing activities at sea.

IUU fishing poses a considerable threat to the sustainability of global fisheries resources. It contributes to overexploitation, impedes the recovery of fish stocks and ecosystems, deprives coastal States of the benefits of the fisheries resources over which they have jurisdiction, and undermines the economic viability of legal fishing operations. RFMO IUU vessel lists are designed to identify those vessels that operate outside of the international legal framework and undermine conservation and management measures and then to sanction them by depriving access to ports and markets, thus removing their ability to profit from IUU activities.

Read the IUU snapshot


The transfer of tuna at sea, without effective monitoring and data collection, undermines tuna sustainability. Unregulated, or poorly regulated, transshipment compromises the accuracy of RFMO stock assessments, provides a loophole for IUU activities and fish to enter the supply chain, and disrupts traceability and supply chain integrity. When comprehensively regulated and monitored, transshipment management measures will support rigorous traceability and help to combat IUU fishing and to prevent IUU fish from entering the supply chain. In addition, lawful transshipment can allow fishing vessels to remain at sea longer, thereby increasing their efficiency, because they no longer have to travel to port to offload their catch.

Read the transshipment snapshot


Featured Graphic

An infographic describes the negative impact of IUU fishing activities and explains what ISSF does to help combat it.

Download the infographic


ISSF in the News 

ISSF reports 86.4 percent of tuna catches coming from healthy stocks 



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