Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing

Promoting a more regulated, reported and legal fishing practice in the Guianas.

© Pete Oxford

Our ocean supports the livelihoods of people who rely on fishing and fishing-related activities. However, Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is threatening the food supply of coastal communities as fish populations decline due to overfishing and is one of the biggest threats facing marine ecosystems. The detrimental impact of unchecked fishing practices on marine biodiversity and fisheries management at both national and regional levels cannot be overstated. The potent ability of such practices to undermine efforts towards sustainable fisheries management and conservation of marine biodiversity is a cause for concern that requires urgent attention.

IUU fishing is a pervasive practice in all types and sizes of fisheries, including those situated in the high seas and coastal zones. This illicit activity encompasses all aspects and stages of fish capture and utilization, and its detrimental effects can lead to the collapse of local fisheries. Notably, small-scale fisheries, which are typically characterized by limited resources and infrastructure, are disproportionately vulnerable to the harmful impacts of IUU fishing. To combat this issue, it is imperative that effective management and enforcement measures be implemented to ensure the sustainability and equitable distribution of marine resources.


© Pete Oxford
CHALLENGES: Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing poses a significant and shared threat to the sustainability of fisheries throughout the entire Guianas Shield marine eco-complex. Currently, the coastal fisheries of each country in the region are encountering various challenges. Efforts to ensure the continued viability of marine resources, when conducted on a country-by-country basis, have repeatedly demonstrated limitations.

EFFORTS: To address the issue of coastal IUU fishing more comprehensively, we will work with governments across the region to bring together the responsible entities for fisheries management in Suriname, French Guiana, and Guyana with the primary objective of exploring potential avenues for collaboration to combat IUU in our waters.

The first phase of this initiative is to lay the foundation for a long-term collaborative effort by soliciting input from the fisheries management bodies of each country. Their input will help determine the priorities for future actions. 

We recognize that each country has its specific challenges; however, there is a shared commitment to sustainable fisheries management to benefit from the shared marine resources of the Guianas Shield region.