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Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing (IUU)

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a global problem that depletes fish stocks, marine habitats and undermines the conservation and sustainable development of marine resources.

An IUU vessel list is issued regularly, based on IUU vessels identified by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. EU operators who fish illegally anywhere in the world, under any flag, face substantial penalties proportionate to the economic value of their catch, which deprive them of any profit. 

The IUU Regulation seeks to prevent imports of IUU fish into the EU by:

  • requiring all imports of wild-caught fishery products to be accompanied by a catch certificate from their Flag state, verifying that catches have been made legally
  • compiling a comprehensive list of vessels that have been identified as engaging in IUU fishing activity, as well as introducing stricter fines and sanctions (non-compliant States can be ‘black-listed’)
  • facilitating re-importation of UK-caught fish that has been exported to third countries for processing, so that the origin and legal status of the product can be certified and assured
  • ensuring EU nationals throughout the fishery supply chain are subject to the same restrictions

More information can be found on the Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing web page.