Understanding the drivers, motives and management of IUU Fishing in the Southern Ocean
Type of content
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has threatened the Southern Ocean ecosystem since the mid-1980’s. To mitigate IUU activities in the Convention Area, the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) implemented a Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) as a conservation tool for all fisheries to comply with. However, future management of Antarctic marine life requires an understanding of the societal influences that motivate and drive vessel organisations to conduct IUU catches. Thus far, the majority of literature discusses political, social and scientific issues surrounding IUU fishing as separate concepts, yet the three themes are interwoven and all influence one another. Historically, fish stock collapse and Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in the Northern Hemisphere has influenced IUU activities in Southern regions, due to the abundance of toothfish in the Southern Ocean. However, the Tropics and South Pacific regions are projected to experience a significant decrease in catch potential and, therefore, place the Convention Area at high risks of future IUU fisheries. Nonetheless, CCAMLR’s prevention measures have the capabilities to diminish future organised crime in the Convention Area once the socioeconomic influences for IUU bodies are understood. Research suggests individuals are compelled to engage in IUU activities when opportunity cost is high and living standards are low; therefore, CCAMLR should focus on socioeconomic values in developing regions for future prevention.