Combatting IUU in Asia

One in four fish is caught and traded illegally, negatively impacting fish stocks and ecosystems, coastal communities, consumers and seafood industry.


East Asian countries can play a significant role in the global effort to combat IUU fishing.

Globally, illegal and unreported fishing accounts for annual economic losses of $10 to 23.5 billion, representing between 11 and 26 million tonnes of seafood. As much as 30 percent of global catch may be unreported. In addition to economic losses, IUU fishing undermines sustainable fisheries management and governance, depleting fish stocks and negatively impacting ecosystems, threatens the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities, and creates unfair competition for legal fisheries and industry.

Together, China, Japan, and Russia represent nearly 25% of global fish landings and, as a whole, Asia accounts for more than 50% of global fish landings.

East Asian countries like Japan, China, Korea, and Russia’s Far East play a major role in the global seafood sector as producers, traders, and consumers. Unfortunately, loopholes and gaps exist within dominant Asian supply chains, creating risk and enabling IUU product to enter regional Asian and global marketplaces, affecting both legal industry players as well as consumers alike.

We’re building momentum to combat IUU fishing in Asia, at the source, by engaging fisheries, supply chain partners, and policy makers across Northeast Asia. We’re on the water working with fishermen to close loopholes where illegal product might enter seafood supply chains; we’re building support for legal and traceable fisheries through market-based incentives; and we’re bolstering industry champions who embody best practices.

Stories from the Field: IUU