What’s in a Name: the Importance of Distinguishing between “Fisheries Crime” and IUU Fishing

In: Cooperation and Engagement in the Asia-Pacific Region


This paper examines the conflation between “fisheries crime,” a term that is increasingly being used in international fora, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated (iuu) fishing. “Fisheries crime” obscures the different legal responses necessary to address fisheries violations (as opposed to crimes that may be associated with iuu fishing), focuses on illegal fishing over unreported and unregulated fishing, and risks moving primary responsibility for addressing iuu fishing on the international level away from Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (rfmos) with expertise in fisheries management. Ultimately, this paper concludes that the use of “fisheries crime” to encompass and expand the concept of iuu fishing is counterproductive to efforts to understand and address iuu fishing in an international fisheries management context.


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