Say No to IUU
The Angling Trust has launched a new campaign to tackle the combined threats to sea fish and fishing of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Source: Angling Trust
IUU fishing contributes to overfishing. It undermines scientists’, fishery managers’ and policy makers’ attempts to manage publicly-owned fish stocks sustainably and it threatens the wider marine environment as well as causing damage to livelihoods and businesses reliant on well-managed fish stocks.
Coinciding with the launch of the Angling Trust’s new IUU campaign, the Angling Trust announced its support for a new illegal fishing campaign launched by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). The campaign aims to raise the awareness of the law surrounding the buying of fish from unregistered sources and the sale of fish from unlicensed vessels. Anglers are being encouraged to help tackle illegal fishing by reporting any suspected illegal activity.
Last week the Angling Trust backed up its commitment to tackling IUU fishing by highlighting reports of illegal drift netting for bass off the coast of Essex and calling on the MMO to investigate and take any necessary action to ensure that licensed fishing vessels are adhering to the EU rules put in place to stabilise bass stocks.
The Angling Trust believes the objective for the UK should be for excellence in world-leading management of our publicly-owned fish stocks and that achieving this includes a concerted effort to address IUU fishing.
A new report on IUU fishing, produced by the Angling Trust, for anglers, sets out recommendations on how major contributors to IUU fishing can be addressed. Recommendations include:
• All sales of fish should be recorded in order to improve fishing mortality data on which scientific advice and subsequent management measures are based upon.
• All fish sold should be from licensed, registered sources and be recorded for management purposes.
• Development of a new centralised intelligence-led marine illegal fishing initiative which can log, investigate and share reports and intelligence of illegal fishing activity at sea.
The report also sets out the benefits of tackling IUU fishing which include:
• Management of fish stocks would be based on far more accurate data leading to clearer, evidence-based, policy decisions and more effective management.
• The relative impacts of different parts of the catching sector can be better understood which will improve evidence-based policy making when fishing opportunities are allocated.
The report then goes on to suggest how the recreational angling sector can help contribute to tackling IUU fishing and includes:
• Raising awareness amongst anglers and the general public about the impact and consequences of illegal fishing.
• Highlighting the law around the sale of fish and promoting compliance.
• Reporting suspected illegal fishing to the MMO.
David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Marine Campaigns Manager, said:
“Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is something that all parts of the catching sector, both recreational and commercial, as well as regulators such as the Marine Management Organisation, should be able to come together to address with a common objective.
"The recent measures to halt the decline of bass across the EU have highlighted the very significant problems IUU fishing might be playing in our ability to manage bass sustainably now and in the future. It is therefore time that all those involved in fishing take collective responsibility to address the problem.
We must all say 'No' to IUU.”
For more information on the Angling Trust’s IUU campaign visit www.anglingtrust.net/iuu
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