Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a persistent and global problem that undermines the achievement of sustainable fisheries, a challenge encapsulated in Target 14.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It can have harmful impacts on sustainable development priorities such as food security, economic development, and fighting organised crime. Fish is one of the most valuable renewable resource commodities exploited today, and a significant proportion of global fish production enters international trade. Trade policy should, therefore, play a critical part in combatting IUU fishing. Key trade-related measures to combat IUU fishing fall into two distinct categories; trade restrictive measures (TREMs), sometimes referred to as “trade sanctions“ enacted by one or more marketstates, and catch certification schemes, of which two specific variants (trade documentation schemes (TDS) and catch documentation schemes (CDS)) have been developed and implemented to date. This paper assesses the merits and limits of unilateral and multilateral approaches with regard to both types of instruments.

2016 Trade measures to combat IUU