Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) Fishing

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    In News

    • The illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing continues to rise beyond India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    About

    • Most of the illegal activity is found in the Northern Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
    • There has been a growing incidence of Chinese deep sea fishing trawlers in the Indian Ocean.
    • More than 200 Chinese fishing vessels have been monitored in the Indian Ocean in the first half of this year. 

    Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing 

    • About:
      • It is a broad term that captures a wide variety of fishing activity. 
      • IUU fishing is found in all types and dimensions of fisheries; it occurs both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction. 
    • Issues with IUU Fishing:
      • Depletes fish stocks, 
      • Destroys marine habitats, 
      • Puts fishermen at disadvantage and 
      • Impacts coastal communities, especially in developing countries.

    Initiatives to Tackle IUU Fishing

    • Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA)
      • The Quad, comprising India, Australia, Japan and U.S., in May 2022 announced a major regional effort under the ambit of Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA). Aim: To provide a more accurate maritime picture of “near-real-time” activities in the region. 
      • IPMDA is expected to catalyse joint efforts of India and other Quad partners towards addressing IUU in the Indo-Pacific region.
    • Regulations: 
      • There are two main regulations globally on IUU fishing: 
        • the Cape Town Agreement and 
        • The Agreement on Ports State Measures. 
        • So far, India is not a signatory of either agreement.
      • As per United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), coastal nations are responsible for addressing IUU fishing issues within their respective EEZ. 
      • There are regional fisheries management organizations such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement operating under the mandate of UNCLOS as regulatory bodies to monitor IUU fishing on the high seas.
      • The European Union has made it mandatory to provide this information for all fish imports. 
      • In India, larger vessels, over 20 meters in length, have such Automatic Identification Systems installed.

    Source: TH