Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

The challenge

One in three fish caught around the world never makes it to the plate and consumers often cannot tell if the fish they eat was legally caught. For fisheries, global losses are up to US $23.5 billion a year, 22% of total production. IUU fishing threatens marine ecosystems, jobs and livelihoods, food supplies and regional security. It is linked to slavery, human rights violations and transnational organized crime.

The Action Track

Create a global mechanism for tackling IUU fishing across three pillars: 1) enlist industry and secure commitment to implementing the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration; 2) enlist key seafood trading nations to ratify and implement the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA); 3) harness diverse data capabilities to support actions and facilitate industry and government data contributions to new Ocean data platform to aid enforcement and monitoring.




Pew Charitable Trusts

Fishing sector supply chain


Ahold Delhaize


Signatories to the Port State Measures Agreement

New England Seafood


Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration


Review tools, locate hotspots and drive engagement

Engaged key players and developed an initial private sector strategy to deliver

Advanced discussions for potential engagement with new key players and solution-finders


Operationalise retailer action plan, launch user case for Ocean data

Convene retailers and NGOs to agree strategy for implementing the Traceability Declaration for tuna fishing and track progress

Continued engagement with key retailers and processors to sign up to an alliance for tuna fishing (target: top 10 seafood businesses)

Convene new players in supply chain who have made commitments and bridge to the community of solution providers, including through the 4IR tech community

Engage NGOs particularly active in developing countries and hotspot areas to advance solutions, starting with aim of preventing human trafficking in the tuna fleet

Involve fishing sector and other stakeholders across full supply chain


Showcase private sector tuna traceability plan

Global trend and volume of IUU fishing begins decreasing

Establish a mechanism for tracking implementation of the Declaration

Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration implemented across key retailers and regions

Announce new partners to commit to the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability and a robust
human trafficking strategy

Announce extension of strategy to other species

Positive impact on other SDGs (e.g. SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 8, SDG 10 and SDG 16)

Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA)


PSMA engagement strategy development

Increased awareness of PSMA as powerful instrument in fight against IUU fishing

Engaged and aligned with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Mapped potential PSMA signatory regions and countries (with focus on APEC) and developed an engagement strategy

Started engagement through joint letter from UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and the Friends of Ocean Action Director General to all countries that have not yet ratified PSMA


11 additional countries signed up to PSMA

Raise awareness on PSMA as a key instrument to tackle IUU fishing and raise awareness of the Friends’ work on this, in the margins of Davos

Scope The Friends' interest and capacity to contribute to push of ratification

Further engage governments that have not ratified PSMA

Build/work with regional partnerships to facilitate ratification and leverage action (e.g. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation commitment to ratify and implement)

Drive PSMA implementation ‘tool box’ for robust implementation (particularly in APEC)

Engage with countries that have ratified to scope challenges and solutions

Scope 4IR component/opportunity, including publication of key white papers addressing challenges and opportunities

Integrate commitments to PSMA ratification and implementation with existing supply chain traceability efforts


PSMA ratification initiated in 100+ countries

Global trend and volume of IUU fishing begins decreasing

Initiation (at least) of ratification process in over 100 countries

Progress toward “closing the Pacific to illegal fishing” by action on commitments from APEC and the G20

Drive technical assistance in PSMA implementation through pilot projects, C4IR opportunities

Leverage the Friends of Ocean Action resources to support PSMA capacity building efforts in key regions

Positive impact on other SDGs (e.g. SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 8, SDG 10 and SDG 16)

Other action tracks