Ending Illegal Fishing Project

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Pew seeks to dramatically reduce illegal fishing around the world by:

  • Urging fisheries managers and States that license vessels (flag States) to require that every commercial fishing vessel 20 meters (65 feet) or more in length, and all vessels that fish outside the EEZs of their flag States, obtain an International Maritime Organization number—a unique identifier that stays with each vessel from construction to scrapping. Fisheries managers and flag States should also mandate that vessels be fitted with an automatic tracking system. These measures would ensure that industrial fishing vessels would be treated like merchant ships, making it possible to easily identify, track, and locate them anywhere in the world.
  • Improving information sharing, enforcement, and prosecution of fisheries crimes in countries with limited resources by facilitating better engagement of authorities, use of technology, training, and intelligence gathering.
  • Cutting off port access for illegal fishers by pressing for the adoption and implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement in key countries and by regional fisheries management organizations.
  • Strengthening controls in major market States such as the United States, the European Union, and Japan to keep illegally caught seafood off store shelves.
  • Working to ensure that illegal fishing is recognized as criminal activity, so that the full force of the law can be brought to bear against those engaging in it.

Media Contact

Kimberly Vosburgh

Communications

202.540.6372