Launch of the IUU Fishing Risk Index 2023
Since the mid-1990s, many actions have been undertaken internationally, regionally, and nationally to combat IUU fishing. These have included international and regional agreements (voluntary and binding), monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) improvements, intelligence sharing, and innovative technologies to identify and track fishing vessel activity. Yet despite these actions, IUU fishing remains a significant global problem with profoundly negative environmental, social, and economic impacts.
In 2019, The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) and Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management launched the IUU Fishing Index – renamed IUU Fishing Risk Index in 2023, to better reflect its objective. The motivation for establishing the Index was that there are no reliable and recent estimates of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing covering all countries and using a standardized methodology to generate comprehensive volumes and values for IUU fish catches. While the Index does not provide a measure of these volumes or values, using a suite of 40 indicators, it does provide a standardized measure of the risk that IUU fishing may be occurring by and in different countries.
The target to eliminate IUU fishing by 2020, associated with indicator 14.6.1 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: ‘Life Below Water,’ was not achieved. It thus remains important to monitor, track, and assess the current risk of IUU fishing and how levels of risk across various categories are evolving. The Index was, therefore, updated in 2021 and was recently updated again to provide results for 2023. The dedicated website providing indicator scores since 2019 (including those for 2023) and an associated 2023 report discussing and explaining key changes since 2021 will be made available in early December.
On 6 December at 3 pm CET, we will host a webinar to release the 2023 Index update officially. The webinar will allow interested parties to learn about the key findings from the 2023 update and discuss other ongoing developments to combat IUU fishing.