Date: Sunday, 5 June 2022; 5th Anniversary.
Full name: International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
Organizer: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
The International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing is annually observed for the following purposes:
- To promote awareness of the threats posed by illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities to the sustainability of fisheries resources,
- To urge the international community to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
The International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing was observed for the first time on 5 June 2018.
In 2015, at its 39th session, the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the FAO proposed an initiative to declare an International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing to raise awareness of the importance of the fight against IUU fishing. Subsequently, this proposal was endorsed by the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), at its 32nd session.
On 5 December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution (A/RES/72/72) proclaiming 5 June of each year as the “International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing.” The date of 5 June was chosen due to that the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (adopted by the FAO in 2009) entered into force on 5 June 2016.
In the same resolution, the United Nations General Assembly also declared 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, which aims to help focus attention on the small-scale fishermen and women who comprise 90 percent of the world’s fisheries work force.
Why do we mark the International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing?
Fisheries and aquaculture play a significant and growing role in providing food, nutrition, and employment for people throughout the world. They also provide a source of recreation, trade, and economic wellbeing. With population growth, fishes have increasingly emerged as an essential and important commodity for the achievement of food security.
However, efforts by the international community to ensure the sustainability of fisheries are severely compromised by IUU fishing activities that cause problems for varieties of fish struggling to survive. According to the FAO, as much as 26 million tons of fish – one seventh of global fish production – are taken illegally from the world’s seas every year, which jeopardizes the food source of many local populations.