05/26/2010 - It is estimated that 11 to 26 million tons of fish or one-fifth of the global reported catch annually fall under the category of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. There are only a handful ways of combating the act of illegal fishing. One of which involves a pirate flag and a hit TV show and the other is with the institutional structures with norms, rules and sanctions that come with fisheries management. But two new studies show that inadequate international fisheries management is threatening the future sustainability of high seas fisheries, fish populations and the health and stability of marine ecosystems.
As the United Nations meets this week to discuss the management of global fisheries at the UN Fish Stocks Agreement Review Conference, two new studies, one published online in the journal Science and the other in the journal Marine Policy (in press), found that governments and regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) have been unable to stop a large amount of illegal fishing in their fisheries via traditional institutional mechanisms.
"Our research shows that the current system leaves significant loopholes for those engaging in IUU fishing to exploit," said Kristin von Kistowski, a senior advisor to the Pew Environment Group and one of the study's principal authors. The study found that because of bad data Port States had trouble identifying illegal fishing when they saw it and even when they did see it, they didn't always implement corrective measures.bluefin tuna
"[W]e need a system with much more transparency, accountability and global coordination," said Kistowski who also manages the Port State Performance research project for Pew.
Read the full article, Research Shows World's Fisheries Management System Failing Miserably, on the Reuters Web site.