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  • 18 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing is on the rise.

  • Despite rising Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone, Indian Navy vessels monitored over 200 Chinese fishing vessels in the Indian Ocean during the first half of this year (EEZ).
  • The Northern Indian Ocean Region is home to the majority of illegal activity (IOR).
  • Every year on June 5th, the International Day to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing is observed.

What is Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing?

  • IUU fishing is a broad term that refers to a wide range of fishing activities.
  • IUU fishing occurs in all types and sizes of fisheries, both on the high seas and in areas under national jurisdiction.
  • It encompasses all aspects and stages of fish capture and utilisation, and it is sometimes linked to organised crime.
  • IUU fishing undermines national and regional efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks, impeding progress toward long-term sustainability and responsibility goals.

What is the current state of India's fishing industry?

Indian Situation:

  • India is the world's second-largest fish producer, accounting for 7.56% of global production and contributing approximately 1.24% of the country's GVA and more than 7.28% of agricultural GVA.
  • By 2024-25, India hopes to have produced 22 million metric tonnes of fish.
  • The sector is recognised as a powerful engine for employing 14.5 million people and providing a living for the country's 28 million fishermen.

In recent years, the fisheries sector has undergone three major transformations:

  • The expansion of inland aquaculture, particularly freshwater aquaculture.
  • Capture fisheries mechanisation.
  • The start-up of brackish water shrimp aquaculture has been a success.

Initiatives to boost the fishing industry in India:

Fishing Ports:

  • The establishment of five major fishing ports (Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip, and Petuaghat) as economic hubs.

Seaweed Park:

  • A multipurpose seaweed park in Tamil Nadu would serve as a hub and spoke model for the production of high-quality seaweed-based products.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana:

  • It aims to provide direct employment to 15 lakh fishers, farmers, and others, as well as three times that number in indirect employment opportunities.
  • It also intends to double the earnings of fishermen, fish farmers, and fish workers by 2024.

Palk Bay Scheme:

  • The "Diversification of Trawl Fishing Boats from the Palk Straits into Deep Sea Fishing Boats" Scheme was launched in 2017 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • It was introduced as part of the Blue Revolution Scheme.

The Marine Fisheries Act of 2021:

  • The Bill proposes that licences to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone be granted only to vessels registered under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1958. (EEZ).

What initiatives are being taken to combat illegal mining?

IPMDA stands for Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness.

  • Recognizing the impact of IUU fishing on fish stocks and marine ecology in May 2022, the Quad members announced a major regional effort under the umbrella of Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA).
  • It aims to provide a more accurate maritime picture of the region's "near-real-time" activities.
  • It (IPMDA) is expected to catalyse India's and other Quad partners' joint efforts to combat IUU in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Indian Navy's Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram:

  • IFC-IOR has worked with other regional monitoring centres around the world to improve maritime safety and security, including efforts to monitor IUU.


  • According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), coastal nations are responsible for addressing IUU fishing issues within their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
  • Regional fisheries management organisations, such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and the Southern Indian Ocean Fisheries Agreement, are mandated by UNCLOS to monitor IUU fishing on the high seas.

The Cape Town Accord:

  • The Cape Town Agreement of 2012 is an internationally binding instrument that establishes minimum standards for the design, construction, equipment, and inspection of fishing vessels of 24 metres or more in length or equivalent in gross tonnes.

The agreement is not signed by India.

Agreement on Port State Measures:

  • The goal of this Agreement is to prevent, deter, and eliminate IUU fishing through the implementation of effective port State measures, ensuring long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources and marine ecosystems.

The agreement is not signed by India.

International Day Against IUU Fishing:

Source: The Hindu

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