Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in Asia

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is working to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing globally. Since 2006, EJF has supported capacity-building in West African nations, including actions against severely declining fish stocks, habitat loss and increasingly unstable food security.

With the support of the Levine Family Foundation, EJF is conducting investigations that provide real and compelling evidence that action must be taken against illegal fishing. EJF is advocating for and instigating fundamental structural changes that build transparency, expose abuses and challenge illegal operators.

At the end of 2018, EJF released ten ‘Transparency Principles’ that outline simple and effective measures towards improving standards in the fisheries sector, which are accessible to all. EJF is utilising these principles to build high-level support, scaling their work across Asia and targeting nations for whom fish catch and fish consumption is central, such as Japan and Indonesia.

EJF’s high-level advocacy in Korea and Thailand is transforming these nations. With a history of non-compliance, they are now regional leaders in transparent fisheries management. As a result of EJF investigations, the EU issued ‘yellow cards’, prompting definitive action. Thailand now publishes vessel license lists and has adopted international treaties, while the entire Korean distant water fleet now carries ‘unique vessel identification’ numbers, making it far easier to track vessel behaviour, largely eradicating immensely destructive near-shore trawling. Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing costs the global economy an estimated $10 billion - $23.5 billion every single year. Vulnerable coastal communities reliant on healthy fish stocks are some of the hardest hit, with 6.7 million people depending directly on fisheries for their food and livelihoods. It is a vicious cycle of degradation and decline. As ocean ecosystems are degraded and fish stocks fall so does income from fishing. To scrape a profit, unscrupulous companies employ further illegal fishing practices and often abuse the human rights of their crews.

With the Levine Family Foundation’s support, EJF are combatting illegal fishing and ocean degradation across West Africa and Asia, building international support at grassroots and governmental level.

If you would like more information about the Environmental Justice Foundation, please visit their website at https://ejfoundation.org