Illegal Fishing Consultant
As an illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing enforcement consultant, I support federal agencies improve law enforcement implementation and capabilities, with a particular emphasis on policy analysis, capacity development, training, and maritime security. I also provide IUU fishing research services such as third-party audits of research reports and risk assessments for specific fisheries, fleets, and businesses (NGOs; Policy Think Tanks).
My responsibilities as a fisheries consultant have included team leadership, operations management, performance assessments, surveillance operations planning, project management, facilities management, port state control inspections and programme reporting.
IUU Fishing Enforcement Training Services
Training services include strategic and operational needs analysis, leading structured group brainstorming practices to identify solutions, project management, programme reporting and internal communications processes, improving organisational effectiveness, cross-functional team enforcement collaboration, and leadership development.
I have previous experience in international capacity development, institutional assistance, and operational support with reputable international organisations such as the World Bank, Forum Fisheries Agency, WorldFish, among others.
I am also an expert in analysing vessel behaviour, predictive analytics, and risk assessment of illegal fishing vessels worldwide. I offer services for analyzing IUU risk at vessel, with specializations at (1) Country level – looking at IUU catches in the EEZ; or at specific Fishery or Company level; Fleet level or risk assessments looking at specific geographic locations.
What is IUU Fishing
FAO of the United Nations definition of IUU fishing (IPOA on IUU Fishing, 2001)
– Limited scope of the definition that does not cover all categories of IUU crimes.
- Illegal fishing – (Unauthorized fishing, fishing without license, misreporting, under-reporting, fishing in marine reserves, fishing using explosives and chemicals). Illegal fishinghas received more attention, than unreported and unregulated fishing. However, the category of “illegal fishing” poses a more serious threat to sovereignty.
- Unreported catches (Reporting high value species as low value fish to avoid quota accounting, taxes, high-grading, discards, etc.). Unreported fishing poses more threat from quantification of catches and taxation point of view.
- Unregulated fishing (Unauthorized fishing on the high seas; by vessels having no nationality or by vessels not a party to the relevant RFMO). Unregulated fishing poses threats from both violation of international agreements as well as flag state compliance and other maritime security regulations to which a coastal state is a signatory.
EXTENT OF IUU FISHING
Volume & value worldwide – $10 bn and $23.5 bn annually, representing between 11 and 26 million tonnes (Agnew et al., 2009).
- Volume of IUU fish catches depends by region/country/ jurisdiction (e.g., Bay of Bengal, South China Sea, South Atlantic Ocean.
WHY DOES IUU FISHING DETECTION DIFFER FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY AND REGION TO REGION
- Problems with risk perception when IUU fishing is considered a non-traditional risk with minimal consequences on state security or sovereignty (e.g., UNCLOS related laws not enforced at sea, but intent is formidable on paper within national laws).
- Convergence of traditional and non-traditional threats at sea leads to dispersion of patrolling effort towards tasks prioritized by national defense ministries.
- Low allocation of manpower and patrolling assets leads to poor intelligence picture
- Low fiscal investment on sea-based threats in comparison to land borders where more military infrastructure and human capacity is allocated.
- Lack of centralized fisheries monitoring centers (FMC) to monitor or intercept illegal vessels at sea after receiving actionable intelligence.
- The sheer size of the fishing fleet in comparison to available assets makes detection more challenging.
IUU FISHING RELATED MARITIME FISHERIES LAWS
- UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982
- FAO COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT (1993)
- UN FISH STOCKS AGREEMENT (1995)
- UN PORT STATE MEASURES AGREEMENT (2009)
- FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995) FAO-CCRF
- FAO – International Plan of Action on IUU Fishing (2001)
- RFMO Related Regulations (IOTC, CCAMLR) – tuna, krill, fish
DRIVERS OF IUU FISHING
- Drain on financial resources: Finance ministries see the fishing industry as a drain on fiscal expenditure. Disbursement of subsidies (fuel, boat building, and income supplementing schemes) with very little fiscal returns to the state treasury has led to systemic neglect of the fishing industry.
- Emigration to developed world: Fishers affected by illegal fishing and overfishing are getting displaced both internally and externally leading to bilateral conflicts with neighbouring countries. Domestic fishers are migrating to larger cities and foreign countries to work as fishing crew to support their families back home. Small-scale fishers displaced by industrial illegal fishing vessels also resort to illegal emigration to developed countries imposing disproportionate burden on national security agencies who must repatriate them from foreign countries.
- Displacement of fishing activity from coastal waters to offshore waters brings small-scale fishers in direct conflict with industrial fishing vessels leading to violent clashes and deaths at sea.
WHY IS IUU FISHING NOT TREATED AS A PRIORITY MARITIME SECURITY RISK
- Wide range of maritime crimes occur in the maritime domain.
- Size of the IUU risk varies by country with some risk variables receiving disproportionately more surveillance resources than others.
- As displaced fishers’ resort towards using fishing vessels for drug trafficking, illegal contraband trade, and illegal emigration, Governments are increasingly forced to spend more on internal surveillance resources to monitor fishing boats at sea.
- Types of THREATS and associated RISK within the maritime EEZ limits also vary by country
- Marine Terrorism
- Narcotics trafficking
- Human trafficking
- Contraband smuggling
- IUU fishing (is usually an “outlier” MDA control task) in many countries
Tools to get better picture of IUU fishing include:
- Biometric identification of vessels, fishing licenses and vessel registration documents
- Fishing vessels tracking (AIS, VMS, Radar)
- Fishing crew
- Vessel location alerts
- Satellite imagery
- Coastal radars
- Drones (UAV deployment off Senegal – Canadian assistance)
IUU FISHING Related Posts
You may also be interested in these posts on IUU Fishing