fishing boats on the ocean horizon at sunset
Project

Ending Illegal Fishing 

Pew.Feature.Toolbar.Sections

Ending Illegal Fishing 
Pressure on the world’s fish stocks is at an all-time high. Fishing fleets use modern technology and large vessels to fish in places that until recently were out of reach because they were too deep, remote, or dangerous to fish.

 And although many industrial fishing operations act within the law, some routinely disregard the rules. They do this in a variety of ways: failing to report their catches, using illegal gear, fishing without licenses, and even painting new names on fishing vessels while at sea to avoid detection by authorities.

This activity skews scientific stock assessments, undermines law-abiding fishers, and deceives consumers who trust that the fish they purchased was caught legally. Allowing illegal fishing to continue could have dire consequences for the health of the oceans, and for all who depend on it.  

Pew is focused on building a global system to combat illegal fishing by working with governments, fisheries management bodies, enforcement authorities, and the seafood industry to adopt and implement international agreements and regulations, and form multi-State coalitions that will safeguard and protect their waters.

Watch and explore the story

Explore
Fishing
Fishing
Data Visualization

Port Activity Study Reveals Illegal Fish to Enter Markets

Quick View
Data Visualization

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) catch continues to enter world markets, accounting for up to $23.5 billion worth of seafood each year. To combat this illicit activity, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) came into force in 2016 after it surpassed 25 ratifications.

Port states
Port states
Video

Global Fisheries Need Better Governance to Sustain Key Stocks

Quick View
Video

Despite the critical role that key species play in marine ecosystems and the billions of dollars they generate for the global economy, there are inadequate rules in place to ensure that catch levels are sustainable.

Article

The Cape Town Agreement

Quick View
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.

IF Brief
IF Brief
Issue Brief

How to Improve International Fisheries

Quick View
Issue Brief

Overfishing is one of the greatest threats facing the ocean, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reporting in 2020 that one-third of all fish stocks are overfished and that another nearly 60 percent cannot sustain any increases in fishing.

Our Work

19x9 placeholder

Meet the Team

Learn about Pew's staff working to combat illegal fishing.

Learn More
Quick View

Meet the Team

Learn about Pew's staff working to combat illegal fishing.

Learn More
Data Visualization

Three Treaties to End Illegal Fishing

Quick View
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.

Article

How a Coast Guard Career Led to the Illegal Fishing Fight

Quick View
Article

In the effort to end illegal fishing and other crimes on the sea, enforcement plays a vital role. Daniel Schaeffer, a senior manager working on international fisheries for The Pew Charitable Trusts, strives for effective enforcement of laws intended to end and prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Issue Brief

Come mettere fine alla pesca illegale

Quick View
Issue Brief

Per ogni pesce selvatico che viene servito al ristorante, venduto in pescheria o in banchina, c’è 1 possibilità su 5 che sia stato pescato illegalmente. La pesca illegale e non dichiarata in tutto il mondo conta fino a 26 milioni di tonnellate metriche di pesce l’anno, per un valore massimo di 23,5 miliardi di dollari. Questo significa più di 800 chili di pesce selvatico sottratto ai mari ogni secondo. Con quasi il 90% delle riserve ittiche completamente sfruttate o sovrasfruttate, affrontare il problema della pesca INN (illegale, non dichiarata e non regolamentata) è più importante che mai.