Latin American countries push for IUU efforts

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Latin America wants to support IUU efforts in the region.

By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

A report for the China Dialogue Ocean (CDO) notes that major Latin American economies are preparing to coordinate their efforts to counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region.

Fishing and merchant fleets from China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Spain concentrate their regional operations near the limits of Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil’s exclusive economic zones.

Some of these vessels stop off in the major Uruguayan port at Montevideo, searching for squid and other species.

Journalist Sabina Goldaracena writes for the CDO that the concerns of illegal fishing around the South American continent have “grown steadily” over the past twenty years.

This has led to disputes with fishing fleets from Asian countries. Last year, the Ecuadorian government accused Chinese mariners of illegal fishing in 2020. Argentine authorities have similarly captured and detained vessels for illegal fishing over the past few years.

This has fueled the argument in the region for an IUU regulatory body, or a regional fisheries management organizations and deep-sea fisheries, per the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (UN).

“Countries must organize themselves to regulate catches outside national waters,” reports Goldaracena.

“Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), countries have an obligation to cooperate on conserving ocean life on the high seas and to develop management measures if they are exploiting the same resources as other countries,” she reports. “States are even requested to establish regional fisheries organizations.”

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