International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

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2023 DateJune 5, 2023
2024 DateJune 5, 2024

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing

International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing is a global observance focused on raising awareness about the devastating consequences of IUU fishing. The day highlights the importance of adopting sustainable fishing practices. It also emphasizes cooperation between nations and organizations to identify, deter, and eliminate these harmful activities. The observance seeks to promote the responsible use of marine resources for the benefit of future generations and to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Originating from the United Nations General Assembly resolution 72/72, the International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing was first celebrated on June 5, 2018. For Canadians, this day is of particular relevance because the country's fishery and marine ecosystem are significant sources of cultural, economic, and ecological wealth. IUU fishing undermines the efforts taken by Canada to maintain sustainable fishing and poses a threat to the nation's fishery health and coastal communities, which rely on fishery resources for their livelihoods. Ensuring sustainable marine practices aligns with Canada's commitment toward the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 14, which aims to conserve and sustainably use ocean, sea, and marine resources.

In recognizing this observance, Canadians typically engage in various activities, such as educational events, public seminars, and campaigns, aimed at fostering awareness of IUU fishing and its harmful consequences. The strategic exchange of information between government bodies, fishery organizations, and the public is also encouraged, as well as the sharing of resources and tools to combat IUU fishing effectively. The International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing is held annually on June 5 and serves as an important reminder of the need for continued global efforts in securing sustainable fishery practices and marine resources.

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Facts about Illegal & Unregulated Fishing

  • According to estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities result in global losses of approximately $23 billion per year.
  • Studies suggest that illegal fishing accounts for approximately 20% of the global marine catch.
  • The Global Ocean Commission estimates that approximately 90% of the world's fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted.
  • Canada is part of international patrols on the high seas to combat IUU fishing. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Canadian Coast Guard work together to monitor maritime activity in the North Atlantic through aerial surveillance and at-sea inspections.
  • As a result of IUU fishing activities, Canada contributes to the problem of unsustainable fishing worldwide. It is estimated that IUU fishing accounts for up to 26 million tonnes of fish a year, worth between $10 and $23 billion.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Explore the Port State Measures that countries agreed to in order to prevent illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about illegal fishing practices in Canada. Here are some suggestions:
    1. The End of the Line (2009): This documentary looks at the global crisis of overfishing, including the effects on Canadian waters. It is based on the book by Charles Clover and covers topics such as illegal fishing and unsustainable practices that affect marine environments in Canada and around the world.
    2. Lobster War: The Fight Over the World's Richest Fishing Grounds (2018): This documentary focuses on the Canada-US border dispute over valuable lobster fishing territory in the Gray Zone, an area claimed by both nations. Though not entirely focused on illegal fishing, it provides insights into the challenges faced by fishermen and the government in managing and regulating fishing practices in disputed areas.
    3. Atlantic (2016): This documentary examines the struggles of fishermen in Ireland, Norway, and Newfoundland, Canada, as they face challenges related to overfishing, illegal fishing, and activities of large fishing corporations in their waters.
  • Read a book to learn more about unregulated fishing in Canada. Here are some recommendations:
    1. Canada and IUU Fishing: An Analysis of the Federal Fishing Regulations by Tullio Scovazzi
    2. Unsustainable Fisheries: The Need for Reform in Canadian Fisheries Management by Wyman Tobin
    3. Canadian Fisheries Management: IUU Fishing as a Common Problem by C. M. Burke

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