Elimination of IUU fishing and the world’s first catch document scheme

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem, and it occurs in all oceans, estimated by some to be worth tens of billions of dollars a year. The use of the term “IUU” was first used by CCAMLR in 1997, and in 1999 this term was adopted by the international community in the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO)’s International Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate IUU Fishing in 2001.

Minimising impacts on the environment

In earlier blogs we have explored the actions that CCAMLR took to deal with specific challenges arising from fishing activities, but throughout the last 40 years the organisation has also taken precautionary measures to guard against a wide range of other impacts, both known and possible.
For instance, in 1990 CCAMLR passed Resolution 7/IX which endorsed the goals of UN General Assembly Resolution 44/225 and determined there would be no expansion of large-scale pelagic driftnet fishing in the Convention Area. This was a precautionary measure since at the time there was no such activity in CCAMLR waters.

Toothfish – precautionary development of a deep water fishery

Picture of a fishing vessel

When CCAMLR started its work, in the 1980s, whaling, sealing and fishing had been taking place in the Antarctic for many decades. Sealers first hunted fur seals for their pelts in 1790. By 1825, some populations of fur seals were close to extinction, and sealers began hunting elephant seals and some species of penguins for oil. Whaling in the Southern Ocean began in 1904, with seven species of whales being exploited until the International Whaling Commission implemented a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986.