Tackling IUU fishing by Asian distant-water fishing nations

Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT)

TMT contributes to the reduction of illegal fisheries and associated crimes by providing authorities with fisheries intelligence and analysis, building their capacity to analyse and act effectively on such information, and facilitating cooperation between countries and other relevant organisations at the regional and international level. This is achieved through a combination of close cooperation, information sharing and capacity building with government agencies, international bodies, and NGOs; through active fisheries intelligence gathering and analysis; and the development of tools that assist in the capture and analysis of information on fisheries crimes. Operations focus primarily on supporting activities in developing Coastal States where capacity and resources are extremely limited, yet where levels and impacts of illegal fishing are highest.

China and Taiwan have two of the largest distant water fishing fleets and significant numbers of vessels either flagged to or owned by nationals of these countries have actively engaged in illegal fishing and associated crimes such as labour abuse. While recently both countries have shown some willingness to investigate vessels involved in illegal fishing, it remains extremely challenging for coastal States in Africa to effectively control Chinese and Taiwanese flagged and/or beneficially owned fleets. There are many factors contributing to this, including a lack of effective communication lines and cooperation with/from China and Taiwan, a lack of available information regarding vessel compliance histories, ownership and activities, language barriers and the absence of key relationships to name a few. These have all contributed to the difficulty of African countries to successfully conclude cases involving Chinese and Taiwanese vessels, or exclude high risk vessels from these countries from their waters.

Funding from the Levine Family Foundation supports the development and strengthening of communications and cooperation between Chinese and Taiwanese fisheries authorities and operators with African coastal State authorities; the generation of high quality fisheries intelligence on the Chinese and Taiwanese flagged or owned fleets; and support to other organisations seeking to work with China and Taiwan towards becoming more responsible fishing nations.

If you would like more information about TMT, please visit their website at www.tm-tracking.org