Monday, May 27, 2024

New Biennial NOAA Report ID’s Seven Countries For Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its 2023 Report to Congress on Improving International Fisheries Management, identifying seven nations and entities for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

The 2023 report identifies Angola, Grenada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, The Gambia and Vanuatu as nations and entities participating in IUU fishing.

Two of those nations were also cited for issues relating to forced labor, and two were identified for issues related to shark catch. This is the first time the report has used forced labor and shark catch in IUU fishing identifications.

The biennial report, required under the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act, identifies nations that fail to address IUU fishing, bycatch of marine wildlife and shark management. Once identified, the United States collaborates with those nations to address their problematic fisheries issues.

The report starts a two-year process for the identified nations to take the necessary steps to address IUU fishing. If a nation takes appropriate actions, it will receive a positive certification in the next report. If not, it receives a negative certification, triggering a denial of U.S. port privileges, among other measures, including potential import restrictions.

The 2023 report announced certification determinations for 31 nations and entities for illegal fishing and/or bycatch of protected living marine resources, including positive certifications for Costa Rica, Guyana, Senegal and Taiwan.

Oceana’s Vice President for the United States Beth Lowell applauded the report’s release:

“The United States, for the first time, is identifying countries in the report for both IUU fishing and forced labor, including China and Taiwan. The report outlines there is still work to be done, but we are encouraged by NOAA’s action to ensure that fishing vessels uphold the law. All seafood sold in the U.S. should be safe, legally caught, responsibly sourced, and honestly labeled. NOAA taking action against countries that fail to follow the rules is one essential tool in the U.S. government toolbox to improve fisheries around the world.”

Check out the NOAA report here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.