Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a key challenge for the sustainable governance of oceans. These practices are strongly associated with overfishing and the depletion of fish stocks. The Sustainable Development Goal 14.4 recognizes the necessity of ending IUU as early as 2020. Still, it has been estimated that IUU harvests represent one-fifth of wild catches globally and even more in some regions. In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) established an International Plan of Action, which provides, to date, the main guidelines for stemming the tides of IUU fishing. However, their implementation is largely dependent on the capacity of states to monitor, control, and surveil vessels operating with their flags, fishing activity in their waters, and transit in their ports.

Furthermore, given the cross-border nature of fishing activities, curbing IUU also requires international cooperation at both regional and global levels to enhance the exchange of information and coordination of actions.  The IUU regime thus faces a relevant implementation gap, necessitating responses across levels of governance. In the last decades, new instruments have been devised, and coalitions of actors have emerged to close that gap, but the problem still looms large.

This seminar seeks to take stock of the progress made by states, regional organizations, and their international partners in reducing IUU fishing, discuss the most successful measures available so far, and reflect on the main challenges of such an endeavour and what can be done differently. What aspects of Norway’s experience with and tools for fisheries management are useful in addressing these challenges?

The seminar will be streamed on NUPI's YouTube channel (no sign-up required). More speakers TBA.