Developing States, particularly small island developing States and other developing coastal States, are among those that suffer the most from the adverse effects of IUU fishing. With the exception of some developing States with large fishery sectors, most governments in developing States lack the resources and infrastructure to monitor and enforce capture fishery regulations effectively.
As a result, IUU fishers often conduct their operations in waters under the jurisdiction of developing States, using vessels registered in the developing coastal States themselves (fishing without licenses or in violation of license restrictions) and vessels registered in other States (poaching or fishing in violation of access restrictions). Many of the problems of IUU fishing that developing coastal States face are common to other States as well (e.g., fishing during closed seasons and in closed areas, use of prohibited gear, misreporting and non-reporting of catch and by-catch, etc.).
Section V (Paragraphs 85 and 86) of the IPOA-IUU calls upon States, with the support of FAO and relevant international financial institutions and mechanisms, where appropriate, to support training and capacity building and to consider providing financial, technical and other assistance to developing countries so that they can more fully meet their commitments under the IPOA-IUU and other relevant obligations under international law, including their duties as flag States, coastal States and port States. Such assistance should be directed in particular to help such States in the development and implementation of NPOAs.
These guidelines are intended, in part, to provide guidance to developing States on implementation of the IPOA-IUU. Examples of other on-going FAO initiatives to assist developing States in their efforts to deter, prevent and eliminate IUU fishing include:
FAO is also planning an additional set of complementary and mutually reinforcing activities under its FISHCODE program that seek to address IUU fishing on a broad front. Outputs being proposed, subject to available funding, include a workshop of States that maintain open registries, participation in efforts to standardize certification and documentation requirements relating to fisheries, and further analysis of factors contributing to IUU fishing.
As noted above, Section V of the IPOA-IUU anticipates that other international institutions and mechanisms should support the provision of such assistance to developing States. For example, the World Bank and a number of regional development banks have a number of on-going projects to provide assistance to developing States in the fisheries field, some of which are designed in part to improve the MCS capacity of developing States.
Assistance may also be provided directly from developed States to developing States. One vehicle for the provision of such assistance is the fisheries access agreement. In exchange for receiving access for its vessels to fish in waters under the jurisdiction of a developing State, a developed State might provide assistance to the developing State to combat IUU fishing.
For example, as noted in Section 4 above, a treaty between certain Pacific Island States and the United States of America requires the latter to assist the former in MCS efforts. U.S. vessels fishing pursuant to the treaty bear the full cost of placing observers aboard the vessels so as to achieve observer coverage on 20 percent of all trips. More broadly, the treaty requires the United States to provide technical and economic support to assist the Pacific Island parties to achieve the objective of maximising benefits from the development of their fisheries resources, including through enhancing their capacity to enforce fishing rules.
A number of other developed States have been providing assistance to developing States in the fisheries field outside the scope of any access agreement. With the adoption of the IPOA-IUU, it may be expected that such assistance will now explicitly be targeted as well toward efforts to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing.
It is particularly important for developing States to share or pool their resources. Models for such arrangements, discussed in more detail in Section 5.3 of these guidelines, include the FFA (most of whose members are developing States) and the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission in West Africa.