The FAO (UN) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (“the Code”), published in 1995, is widely acknowledged to be a broadly-based, detailed recipe for the sustainable, responsible and equitable exploitation of marine resources. Here we evaluate the degree to which the fisheries management of the 53 top fishing countries is in compliance with Article 7 of the Code. These countries land over 95% of the reported world marine fish catch with more than 150,000 tonnes each per year. This study uses 44 questions designed to capture the key features of the 46 clauses of Article 7 of the Code. Each question is scored against objective criteria on a scale of zero to ten, and a statistical ordination procedure incorporates the stated uncertainty of each score. Information available from publications, reports, web sites, national legislation and from contacts in the target countries has been employed. Each country’s scores were subjected to a formal drafting and cross-checking protocol, and most have been externally validated by independent experts from governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities. The 53 detailed country reports, comprising about 1200 pages and 2500 references, are published separately and are in the form of open ‘living documents’ that are revised in the light of fresh or corrected information. Analysis here is based on revisions to April 2008. We identify the best and worst countries in terms of compliance with the Code; distinguish each country’s intentions, as revealed by its laws, legislation and practices, from the effectiveness of its management measures; and we partition the results into six detailed evaluation fields. Overall compliance with the Code is dismal: not one country out of the 53 achieves a “good” score of 70% or more. Only six countries (11%) have overall compliance scores whose confidence limits overlap 60% (Norway, USA, Canada, Australia, Iceland, Namibia). This means that, twelve years after the Code of Conduct was agreed, there is a great deal of room for improvement in compliance even among those countries at the top end of the rankings. At the lower end, the alarming finding is that 28 countries (53%) had ‘fail grades’ of less than 40% (Peru, Poland, India, Ghana, Taiwan, Latvia, Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Thailand, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, Turkey, Bangladesh, Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, Angola, Myanmar, North Korea). In the middle range, disappointing scores from most developed European nations with the undoubted resources and know-how to implement the Code reinforce the low political priority given to improving fisheries management internationally. One encouraging finding is that some developing countries score more highly for the Code than many developed European countries, signifying that some elements of good fishery management can be achieved even with limited resources. A negative relationship with a marine biodiversity index suggests that management is weakest in the most species rich jurisdictions.
Taking advanage of previous local contacts, language and knowledge of the coastal areas of India, in a 7– month field visit in 2008/9, Ganapathiraju Pramod gathered information that may be used to make a complete estimate of fishery extractions, including illegal and unreported landings and discards (IUU). Nine of the ten coastal States of India were visited, including the Andaman Islands. Methods used were over 150 confidential interviews, gathering of grey literature reports and direct observations. The trip was sponsored partly by the UBC Cecil and Kathleen Morrow Scholarship for 2007, by DEFRA (UK Government, as part of global analysis of illegal fishing), and partly by MRAG (UK, as relating to a core area of interest). This report describes the fieldwork completed, together with some preliminary results that suggest an Indian IUU catches in excess of one million tonnes per year.
Illegal and unreported fishing prejudices the managed recovery of the world’s oceans from severe fish depletions. It is reported to lead to a loss of many billions of dollars of annual economic benefits and has wider consequences for conservation and food supply. Estimating the level of illegal fishing is, by its very nature, extremely difficult and has not previously been attempted on a global scale. Fishing vessels, especially those fishing in high seas waters and under third party access agreements to EEZ waters, are highly mobile. Although there are a number of studies of the level of IUU fishing in individual fisheries (both EEZs and high seas), in this work we have attempted, for the first time, a detailed study that can provide global estimates of current and historical illegal and unreported catches. This Report documents source material used in assembling quantitative estimates of illegal fishery catches, unreported catches and discards used in a series of spreadsheet analyses as part of a global estimate of IUU fishing. The results, together with details of the methods used, are published in Agnew et al. (2009) and in Pitcher et al. (2009). High Seas material is based on information from six selected RFMOs, supplemented with notes on high seas activities from individual countries. Information on individual countries is based on material extracted from previous country reports covering compliance with the FAO (UN) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing (Pitcher et al. 2006), supplemented with some additional and more recent notes. The 59 countries covered here amount to approximately the top 96% of the world fish catch.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing has been identified as one of the important drivers affecting sustainable management of fish stocks worldwide. The thesis employs three approaches to identify and evaluate drivers of illegal and unreported fishing worldwide. First, a case study approach was used to determine adequacy of monitoring control and surveillance in fisheries of 41 countries. Results demonstrate that MCS is poor with both developing and developed countries having problems in this area. The second approach used 1211 illegal fishing penalty cases in 109 countries to show that low penalties provide incentives for IUU fishing to persist in many EEZs. Finally a detailed analysis of the Indian EEZ exemplifies the problems of developing countries by evaluating various stages where illegal and unreported catches occur in commercial and small-scale fisheries. Results from each of the nine maritime states in India (including the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands) reveal that 45,000 to 60,000 tonnes is taken annually by illegal foreign fishing vessels, while 1.2 million tonnes of discards and 293,000 tonnes remain unreported in the small-scale and commercial trawl fisheries.
This report presents evaluations of the compliance of 53 countries (strictly, marine fisheries jurisdictions) representing over 96% of the reported world fish catch, with Article 7, covering Fisheries Management, of the FAO (UN) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, originally agreed by members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and published in 1995.
— Fisheries Centre Research Reports 2006 Volume 14 Number 2