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Photo: EFF, Gaumy.Photo: EFF, Gaumy

Norway is continuing efforts to deter illegal fishing

08.03.2010 // In order to address the issue effectively, efforts to combat IUU fisheries should be comprehensive and made in many areas simultaneously. The issues included are illegal fishing, transshipment at sea, forgery of origin, covert landings and so on.

The counterforces are formidable, with organised economic crime worth billions, covering large geographical areas   - including Norway. At the international level, efforts are being made bilaterally vis-à-vis Russia, all relevant port states in Europe, as well as North Africa and the European Commission. Norway will continue to maintain high political focus on solving the problems of IUU fisheries. An essential means in this regard is to sign new and update old inspection agreements between Norway and the inspectorate bodies of other states.

On Norway’s initiative, the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) has been able to ensure the ratification of a binding regional agreement on port state control for all fish supplied from catches in the North East Atlantic. Norway has also gained global support at the UN Conference on Fishing on the High Seas to draw up a binding UN convention on port state control of foreign fishing vessels. On September 1 2009 91 FAO members have agreed on an international agreement to implement port state measures to combat illegal fishing. The treaty was signed by eleven member countries on November 25 after its approval by the Conference. The agreement will enter into force after 25 countries have ratified it.

National initiatives

The Norwegian Government has authorised the implementation of both the NEAFC agreement and the UN agreement. This has provided Norwegian authorities with opportunities for stricter measures in the work against IUU fisheries. These include the refusal of  landings in Norway from vessels that have previously engaged in IUU fishing, the refusal of dockside transshipments and denying such vessels bunkers and support vessels, as well as the requirements requiring that a vessel’s flag state confirms that the fish were caught pursuant to set regulations and quotas.

Norway constantly seeks to regulate its own fisheries sustainably and ensure efficient control of resources both on landing and at sea through the Coast Guard. Moreover, a number of measures have been implemented to deter Norwegian vessels from participating in IUU fishing and to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the Norwegian market. The Norwegian Government’s Plan of Action on Economic Crime has been used in order to enforce measures against Norwegian actors in IUU activities.

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