High-seas illegal fishing thwarted by catch documentation schemes

Seafood Source –

The latest technical paper on catch documentation schemes from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), discusses how such schemes benefit, or could benefit, deep-sea fisheries by protecting them from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The paper’s author, Giles Hosch, found in his research that catch documentation schemes (CDS) are a useful tool for addressing the IUU fishing practices known to take place in deep-sea fisheries, in the areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ).

Catch documentation schemes are a trade-based measure with the purpose of denying market access to fisheries products that have been obtained illegally. They facilitate the tracking and tracing of fish from the point of capture, through unloading and onwards through the supply chain.

The sustainable use of deep-sea fisheries has been under scrutiny by international organizations, including the United Nations General Assembly, for more than two decades. Concern largely relates to the limited amount of information and knowledge available about deep-sea ecosystems, the species and stocks targeted by fishing fleets within these ecosystems, and the adverse impacts that deep-sea fishing operations may have on these.

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