Plenary: Out of the Shadows: Combatting IUU Fishing Through A Rapid Increase in Transparency
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing costs countries around the world between US$10 and 23.5 billion every year. IUU fishing not only degrades the marine environment, exhausting fish stocks and destroying ecosystems, but also affects the economic and social well-being of coastal communities. These communities often rely heavily on fishing for food and livelihoods.
IUU operators often rely on a global lack of clear information and cross-boundary cooperation on fishing. Opaque requirements for vessel registration, use of flags, and use of tracking technologies all mean that illegal vessels can slip past enforcement authorities undetected. Simple and often low-cost transparency initiatives are now available that would shed light on these operations; allowing relevant agencies to know exactly what vessel is fishing, who is onboard, where the vessel is fishing, and what they are catching.
This workshop seeks to explore and promote these transparency initiatives and to see how they can be applied in the real-world with examples from Thailand and Indonesia. A lack of transparency in fishing can also facilitate and exacerbate cases of human trafficking and forced labour. This workshop will provide a unique, first-hand account of the human rights crimes taking place onboard fishing boats through the stories and insights of two former trafficking victims.