The Effects Of Illegal Fishing

During the years of the fishing world there been illegal activity across the countries. In the mid-fall season fishing companies around the world compete to fish for the big catch. In this present day, while the economy going through a big shake up, the increase of fishing illegally been arising. This paper will get into the history of fishing, economic effect, prevention, and the consequences of illegal fishing. Also, how other countries are stopping illegal fishing in their area.  By the end of reading this brief paper on illegal fishing, this will open your eyes and be more aware of keeping our ocean clean. Also fighting of stopping illegal fishing across the country.


Illegal Fishing

         Fishing industries around the country goes through a thin line of fishing illegally. It happens in other foreign countries and mainly in northern part of the world. By getting caught is a big risk that you might have to take, but end up of the short side of the stick. However, there is always other way to prevent you of fishing legally by using right documents and procedure to fish the right way.


         The term IUU fishing is define as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing as “it is known more of a wide range of irresponsible activity” (IUU, 2002). Also in the Webster dictionary” illegal” defines as” Not according to, or authorized by, law; specif., contrary to, or in violation of, human law; unlawful; illicit; hence, immoral; as, an illegal act; illegal trade; illegal love” (Illegal, 2009). Therefore, knowing the terminology of the IUU and illegal will give an insight of the main theme of the paper.


         Fishing goes back way in ancient times when fishing for food was the first step of learning how to live on your own. Also in ancient times, “The oldest known painting of an angler using a rod or staff comes from Egypt and history dates it from about 2000 BC “(History, 2010). A proof of these logical paintings gives a point of view how the early ages survived. In 1946, an English prioress Dame Juliana Berner, who wrote the book “Treatyse of fysshynge with an angle “. “The book established the basic foundations of angling knowledge” (History, 2010). Also, learning to detail how to construct fishing hooks and rod, that it was just the first stages of knowing how to fish.

The first “Reel device was invented in England during the 18th century, although some speculate that the Chinese may have designed a basic reel earlier, in 3rd century CE” (History, 2010) . However, with the development with new technology equipments and a high knowledge of the behavior of species. The sport of fishing in this present day has become a popular sport across the country. Therefore, “In 1939 the international Game Fish Association was established to protect game fish and their habitats, based on the premise that maintaining stable fish populations would ensure the future of the sports” (History, 2010).

Economy Effect on Fishing

         During the past time of worldwide fishing, the sport became a booming success across the country. But in this present day, professional fishers trying to keep their sponsors during a tough time in the economy. In the article “Economy has chilling effect on fishing, boating” posted by J.R Absher talks about keeping the sport alive while the economy is going through some rough times. According to Mike Bolton, an outdoor writer for the Birmingham, ALA saying “Everybody is losing sponsors,” pro angler Randy Howell told Bolton. “Greg Hackey and Marty Stone have lost Advance Auto parts, GE silicone has pulled out. We’re keeping the lure companies, but the big, non-endemic sponsors are saying they can’t do it right now” (Economy Effect, 2009).  Looking at the outcome not only of fishing is hurting in this time of crisis. Boating and outdoor shows are canceling out the effect of the economy. “Baltimore Sun by its longtime outdoors writer Candus Thompson, who wrote that the promoters of some of the East Coast’s largest fishing, boating and outdoor shows usually held this time of the year are scaling back or canceling shows altogether” (Economy Effect 2009). No matter what happens to economy, the fishing world will be back into shape.

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Illegal Fishing in Countries

         Throughout the fishing world, illegal foreign fishing had been arising across ocean boarders. I will talk two main areas in ocean boarders that are highly alert in illegal fishing. First area is in the Australian maritime areas, that the border protection command works closely with other agencies to protect coastal region. The illegal foreign fishing is a problem in Australia, that it gives proximity to other countries with survival of communities. In the fact sheet of “Australian Government Border Protection Command” ask why is illegal foreign fishing is a problem? It is “High demand for products such as shark fin, troches shell, trepang (sea cucumber) and tropical rock lobster, some of which are considered over fished species, can make illegal foreign fishing a profitable enterprise” (Illegal fishing 2009).  There is the reason why illegal fishing is a wide known aware of protecting our seas.

Indian ocean broader in Accra, Rome “A group of 50 participants from 13 countries in the Indian Ocean region are strategizing on how to toughen up controls in coastal ports in order to better combat illegal”(Illegal Fishing 2007). To have tighter controls in sea ports, that will make a hard for illegal fisherman to offload and refuel. Also they have come to deal of “Enhanced “port state measures” such as port inspection schemes and information systems, which can be effectively linked to enforcement tools such as blacklisting of  IIU fishing vessels, trade measures and requiring vessels to participate in vessel monitoring system (VMS) programs” (Illegal Fishing 2007).  This idea will bring a stop in the illegal fishing and become a warning to fishers to be aware. The IUU (Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported) fishing in the Indian Ocean always has a problem with fishers such as “Fishing without permission or out of season; harvesting prohibited species; using outlawed types of fishing gear; disregarding catch quotas; or non-reporting or underreporting catch weights” (Illegal Fishing, 2007). All these activities are all red flags in the illegal fishing world.

However an article in the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) talks about the issues planning ways of blocking ports from ships that is fishing illegal. According to Ichiro Nomura an (FAO Assistant Director-General for fishers) says that all countries are responsible and must work together to put an ending on illegal fishing. In other areas “Catches of commercially valuable fish species may be surpassing permitted levels by over 300% due to IUU fishing, according to reports made to FAO by regional fishers bodies” (Illegal Fishing, 2004). Looking at the stats on the issue of illegal fishing, it is a big problem that we cannot put aside. The sea ports needs to have a tighter control of what is happening out there and need to keep track on what ships coming in and out of the seas ports.

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In the data report in the IUU fishing organization, countries lose a lot of profit from other vessels fishing illegally. In a “Reviewing the situation in 54 countries and on the high seas, the authors estimate that lower and upper estimates of the total value of current illegal and unreported fishing losses worldwide are between $10 million and 23.5 million annually, representing between 11 and 26 million tonnes” (Illegal Fishing, 2008). Looking at these results is a very shocking that fishing vessels would do anything to make their quota.


         The prevention process of IUU fishing is plain and simple to all countries. There are different responsibilities that all countries need to apply. The prevention to all countries should go by the code of conduct of IPOA-IUU (International Plan of Action). The book is for “helping familiarize FAO (Food, Agriculture, and Organization) members and others with tools; suggest which tools to user in particular circumstances; and providing guidance on how to use the tools effectively”(IUU Fishing, 2002). In addition, countries should participate in international network for the cooperation and coordination of fisheries-related monitoring, control and surveillance activities across the country (IUU Fishing, 2002).

Flag countries are “Countries that register fishing vessels and authorize vessels to fly their flags” (IUU Fishing, 2002). The prevention of the flag country is making sure the fishing vessel have updated registration, record, and authorization to fish in the area. Also have other responsible control fishing activities for fishing and support vessels. For example, “transport vessels that receive the catch of fishing vessels and supply vessels that bring fuel and provisions to fishing vessels” (IUU Fishing, 2002).

The coastal and postal countries have different responsibility but in a way work together with a flag country. The tools for need is “Keeping a record of foreign vessels authorized to fish in its waters; requiring foreign vessels to use VMS, such that the coastal country has real time or near real time access to vessel positions and receives regular data reports by VMS, and requiring foreign vessels, or a certain percentage of them, to carry independent observers” (IUU Fishing, 2002).  However port countries are became very strict of nailing down IUU fishing. Also having similar requirements as Flag countries of vessels needed to have up dated records, permits to fish, and etc. However, if a port country has a reasonable of suspecting IUU fishing on their ports. They should “Not to allow the vessel to land or transship fish in it port; immediately report the matter to the flag country, and if the suspected IUU fishing may have taken place in another country waters or in waters regulated by a regional fishery organization, immediately report the matter to that country or organization” (Illegal Fishing, 2002).

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The consequences is very harsh of getting caught of fishing illegal and might end up doing some jail time. Also fishing companies get hit up with fines and ban through couple years. In the consequences of IUU Fishing for Fishery Information and Management has a precautionary approach. The “Wide range reference in the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries  and the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and it is implicit in the FAO Compliance Agreement since this agreement forms an integral part of the Code. Article 6.2 of the Fish Stocks Agreement is explicit on information: “States shall be more cautious when information is uncertain, unreliable or inadequate. The absence of adequate scientific information shall not be used as a reason for postponing or failing to take conservation and management measures” (Illegal Fishing, 2002). Making sure of having the right documents and being responsible with their actions, fishing companies do not have to go through the harsh consequences. In this present day, ports all over the country are having tighter control and camera surveillance around their surroundings. It is just another way, of minimize the control of illegal fishing and being a look out for those who breaks the IUU code of conduct.


Illegal fishing is a big problem and citizen like us should be involved of what is going on in our oceans. However, “The IPOA-IUU requires countries to review their national plans of action at least every four years and to report to FAO on steps they have taken to implement their plans and the IPOA-IUU” (Illegal Fishing, 2002). This is a simple way of keeping control of all ports and a better planning of fighting against illegal fishing. Having the right resources and management I believe the fishing world can be back into the right place. Therefore, this is a good learning experience for me to learn what is going around in the fishing world. Also being born and raise from Hawai’i, this research brings a whole wide range of protecting our ocean and fishing system here in Hawai’i ne’i.


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  2. History (2010). National Geographic. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From .
  3. Illegal (2009). Webster Dictionary U.S.A. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From Http:// .
  4. Illegal Fishing (2009). Australian Government Border Protection Command. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From Http:// .
  5. Illegal Fishing (2008). Illegal Fishing information. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From Http:// .
  6. Illegal Fishing (2007). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From .
  7. Illegal Fishing (2004). Food and Agriculture Organization of United States. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From .
  8. Illegal Fishing (2002). FAO Corporate Document Depository. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From .
  9. Illegal Fishing (2000). Consequences of IUU Fishing. Retrieved May 4, 2010, From Http://
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