The scope of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing problems refers to illegal activities conducted by national or foreign fishing vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a state, without the permission of that state, in contravention of its laws and regulations; or conducted in violation of national laws or international obligations. Unreported fishing means fishing which has not been reported, or has been misreported, to the national authority, in contravention of national laws and regulations. Unregulated fishing means fishing in areas or for fish stocks for which there are no applicable conservation or management measures and where such fishing activities are conducted in a manner inconsistent with state responsibilities for the conservation of living marine resources under international laws (FAO 2001).
IUU fishing has several negative impacts, such as unfair competition, loss of biodiversity, loss of income, even loss of human lives. Moreover, there are social and juridical implications made by such consequences. It is obvious that fish stocks has been depleted and in many areas in the world oceans and seas due to various reasons, namely poaching, smuggling, overfishing and violation of the local, regional and international laws. It is also expected that IUU fishing is getting more and more attention in all fishing regions and sub-regions. FAO and GFCM have made several studies and initiatives for combating IUU fishing in all fishing areas.
Lower and upper estimates of the current total loss per year due to illegal and unreported fishing worldwide are USD 9 billion and USD 24 billion, respectively, representing between 11 and 26 million tonnes of fish (Agnew et al. 2009).
IUU fishing is one of the root causes for the decline of fish stocks in the GFCM Area and IUU fishing remains widespread in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. INTERPOL has launched a project as a global initiative to detect, suppress and combat fisheries crime which is estimated to cost the global economy up to USD 23 billion each year. Fisheries crime threatens food security and livelihoods, and can destabilize vulnerable coastal ecosystems (www.interpol.int).
The nature and extent of the IUU fishing in the Black and Mediterrnaean Sea is not clearly known at present. It is, however, known that this kind of illegal activities are becoming common practices in recent years and getting serious threat for the fish stocks and fishing communities in the region.
All fisheries associations and cooperatives will be encouraged to take an initiative for mitigation or zero tolerance against IUU fisheries in those basen. Public awareness campaigns against IUU fisheries in the Black and Mediterranean Seas with the help of fisheries authorities, with the active participation of fishery cooperatives need to be urgently initiated. Overall an effective program should be developed to halt IUU fishing in the region, which includes also vocational trainings and involves relevant academic institutions and research centers existing at local level.
TUDAV works very closely with NGOs, marine research centers, fisheries organizations and governments of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
It uses its own technical and financial resources. It is also fundraising for specific projects to achieve this goal.