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Funding to Address Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing in the Pacific
by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Fisheries Management Authority (Government)
This is a four-year investment valued at approximately USD 3.29 million (AUD 4.4 million 2017-2021) to increase capacity in Pacific island countries (PICs) to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region. IUU fishing is an ongoing challenge for Pacific Island countries. A 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) report on the quantification of IUU fishing in the Pacific Islands region estimated that around 10 per cent of the overall catch is estimated as IUU, valued at approximately USD 616 million per annum.

The Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries endorsed by Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Leaders in 2015 highlights that IUU fishing robs the Pacific of revenue as well as economic and social development opportunities. As a result, the Roadmap identifies reducing IUU fishing as a key strategy to achieve the goals of improving sustainability of tuna fisheries, increasing the value of tuna catch, creating new jobs in the tuna industry and ensuring food security for Pacific Island countries.

Effective maritime monitoring, surveillance, control, enforcement and information-sharing are essential in combatting IUU fishing. The Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA) is a multilateral treaty to strengthen fisheries management and provide for more cost-effective and efficient maritime surveillance in the Pacific region. Currently the NTSA has nine parties and entered into force on 30 July 2014. This project will support PICs through the early technically-demanding stages of ratification and implementation of the NTSA by:
enhancing regional information sharing and cooperation;
supporting risk-responsive tasking of assets; and
increasing capacity to undertake enforcement operations.

Technical assistance will be provided by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (AGD) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), and the FFA. The partnership with the FFA is designed to maintain sustainability of the project in the long-term, whilst providing support to the FFA and its members in the early stages of ratification and implementation of the NTSA
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 and elimination fishing practices and gear that destroy/degrade marine habitat
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
June 2021
Technical assistance to Pacific Island countries to ratify and implement the NTSA on cooperative maritime surveillance and enforcement
June 2021
Standard operating procedures to underpin targeted IUU risk based monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) operations in the region
June 2021
Increased regional, national and officer level capacity to undertake enforcement operations, including cooperative operations
Financing (in USD)
3,290,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 July - 2021 June
Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) (regional organisation)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Liz Brierley, Pacific Fisheries and Oceans Specialist, Fisheries and Environment Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, liz.brierley@dfat.gov.au, +61 2 6261 9076
Canberra, Australia
Other SDGs
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