Editor's note: This interactive was updated on August 2, 2023, to reflect the latest available data.
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.
The treaty requires parties to place tighter controls on foreign-flagged vessels seeking to enter and use their ports to land or transship fish. In 2019, the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics published a study, commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, of the States with the most risk of illegally caught fish passing through their ports—and therefore where implementation of the PSMA would be most effective. By using data transmitted from fishing and fish carrier vessels, researchers identified the top 100 ports globally* by different activity criteria and ranked 140 port States by a series of risk factors.
In 2023, researchers updated the analysis using 2020 data to begin tracking port trends over time. The new study, which was published in the journal Marine Policy, demonstrates that although the risk of illegal catch entering ports has declined slightly, more work—and therefore, better implementation of the PSMA—is needed.
This interactive uses this data to show the location and number of port visits by fishing fleets and the risk factors at play, helping users learn where there is a greater potential for illegally caught fish to pass through port and on to buyers and consumers.
For ease of use, this interactive refers to jurisdictions of significant size as flag and port States.