United Nations
Promoting standards for sustainable fisheries management and traceability of fish products on a global scale
by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (United Nations entity)
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), with its United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and eBusiness (UN/CEFACT), commits to promote and support the implementation of sustainable fisheries standards on a global scale, and particularly the Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX). This will contribute to the improvement of fisheries management and full traceability of fish products and will help to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fisheries worldwide.

IUU fisheries are destructive fishing practices that have a negative impact on sustainable fisheries, livelihoods, and world fish stocks. In 2016, illicit fishing was reported to account for up to 26 million tons of fish per year, which is a staggering 25% of fish harvested annually from the oceans and valued at up to USD 23 billion. This is the value lost each year to legitimate fishers. Besides economic damage, such practices can threaten local biodiversity and food security in many countries.

Amid growing concerns about the grave problem of overfishing by today's modern fishing fleets, addressed by SDG 14, UNECE with its UN/CEFACT has developed the FLUX Standard , which helps improve fisheries information management, and plays a key role in preventing overfishing and the collapse of global fish stocks. FLUX allows Fishery Management Organizations (FMOs) to automatically access the electronic data from fishing vessels, such as vessel identification and fishing data (catch area, species and quantity, date and time). With this standard, FMOs around the world have for the first time a communication tool to automate the collection and dissemination of the fishery catch data needed for sustainable fishery management and for detecting and combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. FLUX has been adopted by the European Union and is increasingly used in other regions of the world. In addition, the development of a reliable and up-to-date database on fish catch will improve research on science-based fishery management. UNECE is also working towards the establishment of a Team of Specialists for the promotion of sustainable fishery standards on a global scale, will work on a project for the electronic exchange of fisheries data.
Progress reports
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
December 2019
Reports to the 24th and 25th UN/CEFACT Plenary Sessions of 2018 and 2019
December 2021
Advice and assistance on implementation issues of the FLUX standard and other standards for sustainable fisheries management and traceability of fish products on a global scale through demand-driven advisory services
July 2017
Establishment of the Team of Specialists on Sustainable Fisheries
May 2019
Promotion of the Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX) standard and other sustainable fisheries standards at both policy and technical level, through two global conferences in 2018 and 2019
Staff / Technical expertise
Experts of the Team of Specialists (all members of the Team of Specialists are experts of UN/CEFACT)
Staff / Technical expertise
UNECE Secretariat to provide staff time and logistical support to the work of the Team of Specialists
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 July - 2021 December
UNECE, with its UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), and Members of the Team of Specialists on Sustainable Fisheries when formally established. The Members originate from Governmental institutions, business, civil society, consumers organizations and international organizations.
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Beneficiaries also include organizations involved in fisheries (e.g. Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, Regional Fishery Bodies, Research Institutes, Control and Surveillance Agencies).
Contact information
Maria Ceccarelli Chief Trade Facilitation Section, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, maria.ceccarelli@unece.org, +41 22 917 2455
UNECE, Palsid des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Other SDGs
United Nations