Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Centre for Maritime Policy


Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global fishing concern considered as one of the obstacles in achieving sustainable fisheries. In the Philippines, IUU fishing is known to undermine national efforts related to the conservation and management of fisheries resources. International fisheries instruments, particularly the International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IPOA-IUU), recognises the increasing concern on IUU fishing and calls on States to adopt measures that would effectively address the problem. This thesis examines the adequacy of the Philippine legal, policy, and institutional framework to combat IUU fishing. It analyses the definition of IUU fishing provided under the IPOA-IUU and assesses how such definition applies within the Philippine context. The measures adopted in international fisheries instruments to address the problem are also examined. From the analysis, three sets of criteria are formulated to measure the adequacy of the Philippine framework to combat IUU fishing. The first set of criteria involve the application of flag and coastal State measures; the second relate to the application of port and market-related measures; while the third entail the adoption of “all State” responsibilities. It is concluded that by failing to satisfy most of the criteria established under international fisheries instruments, the Philippines renders its legal, policy, and institutional framework inadequate to address IUU fishing. The major areas of inadequacy relate to the Philippine definition of IUU fishing, the measures adopted by the State to address the problem, and the corresponding institutional framework for fisheries management. The thesis also provides specific options for legislative and policy reforms that would address the gaps in the current national framework in order to effectively prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing in the Philippines.