Safe Seas

Fishing vessel
Safe Seas
4min 29sec

The international community increasingly recognizes that substandard working conditions and poor safety standards are a hallmark of vessels that are used in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Operators of vessels that engage in this activity are also less likely to provide their crews with adequate training, proper safety equipment, and acceptable working conditions and are more apt to fish in dangerous weather.

The 2012 Cape Town Agreement, adopted by the International Maritime Organization, outlines design, construction, and equipment standards for fishing vessels 24 meters or longer and details regulations that countries that are party to the agreement must adopt to protect fishing crews and observers. It also calls for harmonized fisheries, labor, and safety inspections. The agreement will enter into force once 22 States, with an aggregate fleet of 3,600 eligible fishing vessels, become parties to it. Once in force, this treaty will raise global safety standards for one of the most dangerous professions. Putting these elements in place will also make it easier for countries to deter IUU fishing, identify and investigate suspected illegal fishers, and help ensure safe working conditions for crews.

Cape Town Agreement
Cape Town Agreement
Article

The Cape Town Agreement

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Article

The Cape Town Agreement

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing jeopardizes the health and sustainability of the world’s fisheries, undermines the livelihoods of law-abiding fishers, and is widely associated with crimes such as piracy, human trafficking, and arms and narcotics smuggling.

Cape Town
Cape town
Issue Brief

The Cape Town Agreement Explained

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Issue Brief

In an effort to maximize profits, operators who fish illegally or under-report catch often cut corners with how they manage their vessels, further endangering workers in one of the world’s most hazardous professions. Illegal fishers often lack sufficient on-board safety equipment or ignore regulations governing vessel modifications.

Data Visualization

Three Treaties to End Illegal Fishing

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Data Visualization

To support efforts to end illegal fishing, The Pew Charitable Trusts advocates for the harmonized implementation of three international agreements that seek to make it more difficult for unscrupulous operators to exploit gaps in national and regional fishing regulations.