Nature and extent of the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Mediterranean Sea

Bayram Öztürk

Faculty of Fisheries, Istanbul University, 34470, Istanbul, TURKEY
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P. O. Box:10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY


Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is one of the serious threats for the sustainable fishing in the entire Mediterranean Sea. Due to IUU fishing, ghost fishing, by-catch, depletion of the fishing stocks, destruction of the benthic ecosystem has been reported. This issue has several social, economic and legal dimensions. Most of the coastal states have IUU fishing practices in the Mediterranean. However, most of them do not necessary record by-catch, ghost fishing and data related fisheries crimes. Purse-seine, trawl and driftnets were most common fishing gears for IUU fishing. Bluefin tuna, swordfish, among benthic species shrimps are the most common target species in the coastal states of the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the by-catch species were cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds and sharks. Concerted actions and international cooperation are essential to halt IUU fishing. Zero tolerance should be the main concept against IUU fishing. A common black list of IUU fishermen and fishing vessels should be prepared and shared by the riparian states. National fleet management plans and Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) System should be encouraged by riparian states and GFCM in the entire basin.

Keywords: IUU fishing, Mediterranean Sea, monitoring system, fisheries regulations

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