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International Day For Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

Nigeria Depends On Foreign Markets To Supply 2.2 million To Of Fish Annually

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing is observed on June 5, The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean of the FAO presented a proposal in 2015 that there should be a dedicated day for fighting against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Then, in July 2017, at the 40th session of the FAO Conference, the resolution was submitted for approval. Later, in December, the UN General Assembly declared June 5 as the International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.

The UN also announced the year 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. It will spotlight the small-scale fisheries, which comprise 90 percent of the world’s fisheries workforce.

What is IUU fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a broad term that captures various fishing activities. IUU fishing is found in all types and dimensions of fisheries; it occurs both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction. It concerns all aspects and stages of the capture and utilization of fish, and it may sometimes be associated with organized crime. IUU fishing undermines national and regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks and, consequently, inhibits progress towards achieving the goals of long-term sustainability and responsibility goals. 

Importance 

The day is observed to draw attention to the issue of illegal fishing. Due to the illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities, every year, a loss of 11-26 million tonnes of fish is reported, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated.

The 1995 FAO Conference also adopted the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in order “to promote long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources.”

“The Code is voluntary and sets out principles and international standards of behaviour for responsible practices with a view to ensuring the effective conservation, management and development of living aquatic resources, with due respect for the ecosystem and biodiversity,” the UN website stated

To counter this, the UN General Assembly in 2015 adopted the Sustainable Development Agenda. The body urges the international community to “effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices.”

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