UN agencies urge stronger efforts to stop illegal fishing

Published June 5, 2019, 8:49 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By the Associated Press

BANGKOK — Major United Nations agencies are urging major fishing nations to join efforts to fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

In this May 21, 2019, photo, Adisorn Promthep, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, speaks during a press briefing on the region's illegal fishing. State-of-the-art surveillance centers in the Asia-Pacific region help to enforce the Port State Measures Agreement, which aims to help curb illegal, unreported and unregulated, or IUU, fishing. UN officials are urging more governments to join the agreement to help combat IUU fishing, which costs world fisheries more than $20 billion a year. (AP Photo/Elaine Kurtenbach)
 Adisorn Promthep, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Fisheries (AP Photo/Elaine Kurtenbach)

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization and other groups made the call at a meeting in Bangkok on Wednesday focused on helping protect fisheries and those working in the industry.

Thailand is the world’s biggest importer of tuna.

It has one of seven state-of-the-art monitoring centers helping to control access to regional ports to curb IUU fishing.

Illegal fishing costs countries in the Asia-Pacific region some $5 billion a year.

The total global loss is quadruple that. Rogue fishing vessels often engage in other crimes.

Adisorn Promthep, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, said preventing such fishing vessels from selling illegal catches is the most vital element of those controls.