Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in Asia

TMT contributes to the reduction of illegal fisheries and broader fisheries 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, including ​vessel tracking; 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 have actively engaged in illegal fishing and broader fisheries 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 the Chinese and Taiwanese flagged and 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.

TMT’s Levine Family Foundation’s funding support will support the development and strengthening of communications and cooperation between fisheries authorities in African coastal States, and Chinese and Taiwanese fisheries authorities; generate high quality fisheries intelligence on the Chinese and Taiwanese fleets; and develop support to other organisations seeking to work with China and Taiwan towards becoming more responsible fishing nations. TMT will further establish an East Asia regional office to strengthen their capacity to work in this region.

If you would like more information about Trygg Mat Tracking, please visit their website at

Longline crew gaff tuna - Hong Chin (c)T