Experts meet in Lima to address high levels of illegal fishing in the region
- Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a serious threat to sustainable management of fishing resources.
- In Lima, experts from Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, the United States, Japan and Brazil met to discuss the issue.
Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) is one of the main problems hindering sustainable fishing in Peru and in other countries of the region, which is why they are looking to trace this activity along the production supply chain. Specialists agreed that combatting illegal fishing requires adopting various control mechanisms.
“Internationally, the tendency is to combat illegal fishing as it represents a serious threat to the sustainability of fishing resources and dignified employment for those who depend on this activity. Currently, international markets such as the European Union, the United States and Japan among others require traceability that guarantees the legal origin of the resource. Not meeting these international requirements can have important social and economic repercussions on our fisheries and include the possibility of closure of some international markets for our products”, explains Nicolás Rovegno, Fisheries Specialist at WWF Peru.
In that sense, it was highlighted that traceability is a fundamental mechanism that not only allows the improvement of monitoring, control and inspection systems but, consequently, also the quality of the product and the economic development of the fisheries.
“We cannot skimp on efforts to address the problem of illegal fishing with all the tools at our disposal through the law as the governing body”, stated Javier Atkins, Vice Minister of Fishing and Aquaculture in the Ministry of Production.
For this reason, the International Workshop on Traceability Systems for Fishing Resources in South America to optimize Fishery Management and combat IUU Fishing was held to generate opportunities to develop traceability systems for the management of fishing resources in the region through the exchange of experiences and good practices. In this first edition, government representatives from Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil and Argentina as well as representatives from WWF Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, the United States and Japan participated.
It should be noted that during the workshop, which took place between February 5th and 7th and was organized by WWF together with the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE), topics such as regulations and requirements to promote traceability and combat IUU fishing were addressed. In addition, each country shared the advances in its respective traceability systems considering the technological components. The workshop concluded with field visits to the port and processing plants.
WWF Peru has been promoting the implementation of a traceability system for artisanal fisheries, adaptable to different resources that are fishing in the Peruvian waters. The system also provides relevant information on the bycatch of protected species which provides a basis for the development of mitigation measures that will allow us to meet international requirements, stated Aimée Leslie, Director of the Marine Program at WWF Peru.