What is IUU / FOC Fishing?

IUU fishing

The 23rd FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) Committee on Fisheries (COFI) in February 1999 addressed the need to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing including fishing vessels flying "flags of convenience". The IUU fishing in contravention of the international law and the conservation and management measures adopted by regional fisheries management organizations is considered to be one of the most severe problems currently affecting world fisheries. (Abstract from FAO report)

FOC vessels

A "flag-of-convenience" (FOC) vessel is a fishing vessel that, in order to escape from management measures of regional tuna management organizations, will change its flag to that of a nation either: a) not a member of any of the regional organizations concerned; or b) a member, but with little capability of properly managing its fishing vessels. Unregulated exploitation of tunas by FOC vessels poses a big problem to every regional tuna management organization. Just as with the problem of fleet capacity control, no solution can be found for the FOC vessels’ problem without cooperation by main consumer market for tuna, that is Japan. Japan’s legislation for "Special Measures for the Conservation and Stronger Management of Tuna Resources" has authorized the government to regulate the importation of tunas ? in accordance with multilaterally agreed frameworks. (The trade measures took effect against three nations in 1997 under ICCAT and have been continuing with the annual review.)

List of IUU vessels compiled by RFMOs