The Danger of Illegal Fishing in the Trade Industry

Fishing isn’t always friendly, illegal fishing has unveiled the dark side of the pleasant pastime. Globally this is a continuous problem contributing to the decline in natural fish populations. In our previous blog post about sustainable fishing we touched on the concept of limiting the amount of fish caught, to prevent the erosion of fish populations and provide an environment where fish can reproduce to maintain their population.

To understand the severe impact of illegal fishing, here are a few examples:

  • 50 percent of the swordfish in Greece and cod in the UK are estimated to be illegally caught.
  • The Bluefin tuna on the black market may reach the value of $4 billion annually, with the amount of illegally caught fish estimated to be 5 to 10 times greater than the legal catch.
  • The bustling shark fin trade in Hong Kong is affected by illegal fishing by having three to four times more sharks killed than official reports claim.

How does this affect the trade industry? The absence of knowledge about how much fish is being taken from the ocean, and who is fishing where severely limits effective management. Illegal activity like transshipment, which is the illegal transfer of goods between boats, has gone largely unnoticed until now.

Ocean conservation group Oceana, released a report that found that illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU) accounts for 20 percent of the global catch. So what’s being done to slow down the impact of IUU fishing? The Republic of Indonesia has become a pioneer in combatting illegal fishing, they were the first nation to publish the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) the system reveals the location and activity of its commercial fishing fleet. The initiative takes a bold step towards increasing transparency in the country’s fishing industry.

The saying there are plenty of fish in the sea is slowly losing its relevance. But the breakthrough technology of the VMS has furthered efforts to block and slow down illegal fishing. Do your part by continuing to support transparent and legal practices like ours! The world is your oyster with our selection of seafood from all over the world.

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