Leveling the Playing Field: NOAA’s Priorities to Combat Global IUU Fishing

March 26, 2013

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing threatens the sustainable management of fish stocks and the economic health of U.S. fishing communities. Continued and diligent effort is needed to comprehensively address the threats posed by IUU fishing.

NOAA is committed to promoting the sustainable management of fish stocks and supporting the economic health of U.S. fishing communities. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing threatens both of these objectives. IUU vessels do not abide by the strong and effective conservation and management measures to which U.S. fishermen are subject. IUU operations can devastate local fish stocks and destroy sensitive, productive marine habitats through the use of harmful fishing gear and practices. Fish caught by IUU vessels are not included within scientific stock assessments, and thereby IUU fishing undermines efforts to gather the data necessary to sustainably manage affected fisheries. Furthermore, trade in IUU fishery products results in unfair competition in the marketplace. While progress has been made in ensuring fairness for U.S. fishermen on the water and in the marketplace, continued and diligent effort is needed to comprehensively address the threats posed by IUU fishing.