Fish and other marine animals travel beyond national boundaries. Learn how NOAA Fisheries works to achieve effective and responsible marine stewardship and sustainable fisheries management around the world.
Why does NOAA Fisheries engage in international collaboration?
U.S. fisheries are a global model of success. We are leading the way in science-based fisheries management and the use of innovative strategies to achieve and maintain sustainable fisheries, conserve and recover protected species, and protect marine habitats throughout our global oceans. Our international efforts aim to level the playing field for U.S. fishermen who abide by some of the world’s most robust conservation laws.
What is the U.S. role in the global seafood trade?
The United States is one of the world’s largest seafood-consuming nations, and we import more than 80 percent of it. Our nation’s appetite for imported seafood makes it vital for us to work with other nations to strengthen sustainable harvesting practices, improve enforcement of fisheries regulations, and promote responsible stewardship.
The United States also shares living marine resources with other countries. The way other countries manage these shared marine resources can therefore directly affect the status of fish stocks and protected or endangered species that are important to the United States. For this reason, successful fisheries management and conservation practices can only be achieved through international collaboration.
What are international agreements and why are they important?
NOAA Fisheries participates in various fisheries organizations to achieve effective and responsible marine stewardship and ensure sustainable fisheries management. This includes regional fisheries management organizations covering the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans, as well as global and multilateral living marine resource agreements.
By working with other countries through various international management and conservation bodies, NOAA Fisheries promotes science-based fisheries management practices, builds and improves the global capacity for marine stewardship, and strengthens the accountability and enforcement of marine conservation measures.
What is the biggest challenge facing international fisheries?
One of our greatest challenges is illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing—often referred to as pirate fishing. It is a big problem in developing countries, which often do not have the means to combat IUU activities. IUU fishing poses a real threat to marine fisheries and the ocean ecosystem. It also threatens our economy and puts honest fishermen who play by the rules at a disadvantage.
Combating IUU fishing is a top priority for our nation, and NOAA Fisheries is a global leader in these efforts. Learn more about our work to stop IUU fishing.