Today is the International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, an opportunity to highlight the efforts taking place around the globe to combat illegal fishing.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonathon Duniam, said Australia was doing its part in helping cast out IUU fishing.
“IUU fishing is a major threat to global fisheries, as well as Australia’s $3 billion fisheries sector,” Minister Duniam said.
“Australian fisheries provide a vital source of food for millions of people, both domestically and around the globe, and the Australian Government will continue to fight illegal fishers to protect our industry and marine environment.
“The Department of Agriculture and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority work hard to ensure the sustainability of Commonwealth managed fisheries.
“A National Plan of Action has been produced to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, and the Australian Government, along with state and territory governments, will continue to work together in its implementation.
“We are also working closely with partners both domestically and overseas to ensure that those who do the wrong thing are punished.
“The Australian Government is continuing to uphold its commitment to cooperate with other members of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) to ensure the conservation and optimum utilization of relevant fish stocks in the IOTC area.
“This includes progressing a vessel monitoring system to improve efforts to combat IUU fishing.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is also helping to improve fisheries management and monitoring across South East Asia, and building fisheries negotiating capability among developing coastal states in the Indian Ocean.
“In the Pacific, where offshore tuna fisheries alone are worth over $7 billion, Australia is helping to combat IUU fishing.
“We do this by collaborating with individual Pacific island countries and regional organisations, including through the Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are also working closely with the Pacific Community and the Forum Fisheries Agency to support Pacific island countries to sustainably manage and develop their fisheries.
“Our fisheries are a precious resource that need to be carefully managed so that our fish stocks are available to be enjoyed by future generations of seafood lovers for years to come.”
IUU fishing produces approximately 15 per cent of total annual fisheries output around the globe.
For more information on how Australia combats illegal fishing in Australian waters visit: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/fisheries/iuu/illegal-fishing