Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing

Findings of global study on transshipment publicly presented

©FAO/Matthew Camilleri

The findings of the “FAO Global Study on Transshipment: Regulations, Practices, Monitoring and Control” were publicly presented at a Side Event held during the thirty-third session of the Committee of Fisheries (COFI), at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on Tuesday 10 July 2018.

The qualitative global study was conducted earlier this year following a request made at the previous COFI session in 2016.

It saw the participation of more than ninety States and the European Union, fourteen RFMOs, four NGOs and three representatives of the private sector.

The study showed that, in general, States and RFMOs do have regulations and implement an extent of MCS measures which however does not seem to be sufficient to adequately control transshipment.

Operators felt a need for level playing-field and a need to streamline and simplify administrative processes. They also expressed the desire for transparency and the use of new technologies - a suggestion also put forward by NGOs who further encouraged the need for increased observer coverage and to streamline regulations.

An Expert Workshop held after the data was collected concluded that transshipment at sea might be a loophole for IUU fishing if it is not adequately controlled. It advised that while transshipment is essential to certain fishing operations and there is an increased international interest in the subject, an update of its definition is required – to include vessels and operations that are currently excluded from the definition.

In addition, it also proposed further quantitative specific studies (by region and fisheries); increased information and transparency; the development of minimum standards for control and the repetition of a global stakeholder survey every two years.

The study also concluded that further work should be carried out at global level leading to the development of  international guidelines on transshipment.

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