Sharing Report

The missing millions from shrimp and tuna fisheries in the South-West Indian Ocean: improving understanding of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

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  • Illegal fishing,
  • Exclusive Economic Zone,
  • marine ecosystems,
  • Ocean Governance
Target Group
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers,
  • Community workers,
  • Artists
  • English
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This research shows that as much as US$142.8 million of potential income is lost from the region every year as a result of a combination of potential IUU fishing activities linked to tuna and shrimp

Published by in May 2023, this report highlights illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing of shrimp and tuna in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO). The report provides recommendations for improving fisheries management and reducing IUU fishing in the region. Some of the key recommendations include:

  • Governments should close any loopholes in documentation to improve reporting of catches between the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the high seas.
  • Coastal states and distant water fishing nations (DWFNs) should reinforce transparency by establishing a regulatory framework that allows the systematic publication of any access agreements, as well as information on joint ventures and chartering arrangements.
  • SWIO coastal states should limit licenses to DWFNs when stocks are overfished to help curb IUU fishing while, in parallel, streamline their local fishing fleets to improve the quality of seafood products and limit waste along the value chain via skill and technology development.
  • Improve transparency in the tuna industry by implementing a digital traceability system that tracks products from boat to plate through technology such as blockchain, RFID tags, and QR codes.
  • Create a fisheries data sharing platform for the transparency of catch, landing, and trade data.
  • Increase compliance to IUU fishing regulations for shrimp fisheries through increased monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) and enforcement.
  • Improve local management systems and fisheries regulations via comprehensive management that includes MCS to better manage national fleets and foreign investment in SWIO fisheries.
  • Urgently implement trade reporting standards for shrimp to reduce potential discrepancies.

Overall, the report emphasizes the need for improved transparency, data sharing, and compliance with regulations to reduce IUU fishing and improve fisheries management in the SWIO region.