Trygg Mat Tracking attended the second meeting of the Regional Working Group on IUU Fishing, held in Bridgetown, Barbados, and supported by EU DG Mare and FAO. The Working Group is composed of members of the Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Organisation for Fisheries and Aquaculture of Central America (OSPESCA).
TMT presented on the topic of vessel identifiers, best practice in vessel markings and vessel markings as IUU risk indicators. The use of standard vessel identifiers, clearly marked on vessels in accordance with internationally agreed best practice, is important for effective fisheries management, monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS), and for communications and safety at sea. Bad practice in vessel marking can be an indicator of IUU risk. Signs that a vessel may be engaged in identity fraud include dual or conflicting identifiers, markings on easily removable boards, markings that show signs of tampering, and markings that do not match the identifiers listed in vessel records.
More information is provided in a briefing on The Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels, prepared by TMT and Stop Illegal Fishing for the WECAFC and available here.
Delegates to the meeting reached agreement on the introduction of harmonised standards for fishing vessel marking and identification, the establishment of a regional record of authorised fishing vessels and the establishment of a regional list of vessels involved in IUU fishing. Advice from the Working Group will now be reviewed by the Interim Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Fisheries of WECAFC, CRFM and OSPESCA, for endorsement by countries in 2018 and implementation in 2019.