IUU fishing in the Southern Ocean: challenge and response



Publication Details

S. B. Kaye, 'IUU fishing in the Southern Ocean: challenge and response' in G. Triggs & A. Riddell(ed), Antarctica: Legal and Environmental Challenges for the Future (2007) 39-59.


This chapter considers the challenges posed by the illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUD fishing) in the Southern Ocean. The paper charts the growth in IUU fishing in sub-Antarctic waters from the mid-1990s, and the efforts of the international community to address it. It examines the challenges faced in detection and enforcement, and the limitations in the internationallegal mechanisms available to combat the problem. These mechanisms are both region-specific, with the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and global, with the United Nations Highly Migratory and Straddling Fish Stocks Agreement, and the various instruments, binding and non-binding, overseen by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) directed at fisheries management. In the former case, CCAMLR's operation within the Antarctic Treaty System has created substantial challenges in responding effectively to the growth of IUU fishing. In the latter, the Fish Stocks Agreement and FAO Compliance Agreement have presented challenges in terms of international take-up, and structures that allow for effective response. The paper then examines the international responses to IUD fishing, both generally and from a regional perspective. These include greater international cooperation in enforcement, and the institution of a catch documentation scheme for the principally targeted species, Patagonian toothfish. These regional measures have proven effective in reducing, although not eliminating the problem. It concludes by considering what new issues affecting IUU fishing are potentially emerging.

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