Countering IUU Fishing: Partnership for Sustainably Managed Fisheries
This partnership seeks to prevent IUU fishing while promoting sustainable management of critical marine species and ecosystems by building the capacity of partner country governments to effectively implement the PSMA.
Keeping Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fish products out of the value chain
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a global problem, threatening economic security, natural resources critical to global food security, and biodiverse ecosystems. IUU fishing costs the global economy between $15 and $36 billion dollars per year and makes up more than 20 percent of all catch in Latin America. The United States is a major harvester, importer, and consumer of seafood. We have an important and active role to play in the conservation and management of fisheries globally—including ensuring that imported seafood is safe, legal, responsibly harvested, and sustainable.
Partnership for Sustainably Managed Fisheries
The Partnership for Sustainably Managed Fisheries seeks to prevent IUU fishing while promoting sustainable management of critical marine species and ecosystems by building the capacity of partner country governments to effectively implement the Port State Measures Agreement. The agreement, which entered into force in 2016, is the first binding international agreement specifically targeting IUU fishing. It creates a standardized approach to gathering and sharing information on foreign-flagged fishing or fishing support vessels entering ports and restricting IUU fishery products from being landed at ports and entering the supply chain.
The Partnership for Sustainably Managed Fisheries is a joint interagency agreement between NOAA and the United States Agency for International Development. It aims to support the governments of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to:
- Effectively enforce domestic fisheries regulations and international fisheries agreements
- Document and share relevant information across government agencies and with neighboring countries
- Develop and implement plans to sustainably manage economically and ecologically important species or areas within coastal and marine habitats
The main goal of the project is to build the capacity of fisheries enforcement and other relevant agencies in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to implement the operational requirements under the PSMA. These include:
- Conducting thorough fisheries inspections of foreign-flagged fishing and fishing-support vessels that enter a country’s port
- Enhancing information sharing within governments and across the region
- Developing and enforcing fisheries management regulations
- Improving the management of environmentally and economically important species and areas
Other outcomes will include establishing and maintaining relationships and contacts with government ministry counterparts and collecting information about the gaps in knowledge and needs of each of the target countries around the agreement.
Results to Date
- Trained 134 people from 10 ministries in sustainable natural resources management through capacity building workshops in Ecuador and Peru focused on the Port State Measures Agreement
- Hosted two separate administrator-level workshops in Peru and Ecuador
- Hosted an 8-day inspector-level training in Ecuador
- Advanced bilateral cooperation on IUU fishing through high-level meetings and work plan development with fisheries and enforcement agencies, NGOs, and private sector actors in Peru and Colombia
- Gathered information on the operational implementation of port measures in each project country to better understand and implement regional integration and effectiveness
Contribution to NOAA’s Mission and National Security
The seafood sector plays an important role in the U.S. economy, generating approximately 1.5 million jobs and contributing to food security. The United States is one of the largest importers and exporters of seafood in the world, currently importing approximately 80 percent of the seafood it consumes.
In December 2019, the Maritime Security and Fisheries Enforcement Act became law, supporting an interagency effort to counter IUU fishing and related threats to maritime security. These efforts align closely with the June 2022 President’s National Security Memo on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Associated Labor Abuses.
The Port State Measures Agreement is an efficient and effective counter-IUU fishing tool, preventing fish and fish products from entering ports and being landed. This decreases the probability that IUU fishing products enter the supply chain. By inspecting vessels and interviewing captains, crews, and observers in a standardized way, the agreement allows for gathering and communicating valuable intelligence and enforcement data. It also provides a framework for closing ports without stringent policies and for denying entry to ports for IUU-listed fishing and fishing supply vessels. Since inspections occur at ports, the agreement is a more cost-effective way to combat IUU fishing across the world than, for example, searching for IUU vessels at sea. Its success relies on international collaboration and communication. The Partnership for Sustainable Fisheries is aiding in increasing regional communication among coastal states in the eastern Pacific and between the United States. and its partners in South America.
Project by the Numbers
LOCATIONS: Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
PROJECT DURATION: 06/24/2021 to 06/23/2026
FUNDING AMOUNT: $5,000,000
PROJECT LEADS: Anjali Kumar and Joe Fader
CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com