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Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing

Voluntary Guidelines for Catch Documentation Schemes

©FAO/Matthew Camilleri/FAO

The FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Catch Documentation Schemes (VGCDS) is the first international policy document with comprehensive elaboration about CDS. The objective of the VGCDS is to provide assistance to States, regional fisheries management organisations, regional economic integration organizations and other intergovernmental organisations when developing and implementing new CDS, or harmonising or reviewing existing CDS.

The CDS is a system to determine throughout the supply chain whether fish originate from catches consistent with applicable national, regional and international conservation and management measures, established in accordance with relevant international obligations.

As a trade-related measure to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, CDS could function most effectively in synergy with other international instruments including the Agreement on Port State Measures (PSMA) and the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels.

The VGCDS were officially adopted by the FAO Conference at its Fortieth Session in July 2017.