Manager   •   about 8 years ago

Problem Statement 15-13: "An app with all Indian Ocean applicable laws, regulations, decrees and any other formats used to combat Illegal, Unreported, & Unregulated (IUU) fishing."

NOTE: This is a featured problem statement. Featured problem statements have been qualified for post-Fishackathon engagement by both the submitting party and by our expert panel. While all of the submitted problem statements qualify for the prizes, these have vetted for contunuation beyond the event itself.

1. Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a significant global problem jeopardizing ecosystems, food security, and livelihoods.
2. Although difficult to quantify with confidence, one global study estimates losses of $10-23 billion annually.
3. Illegal fishing practices also often result in deleterious impacts on the environment, mainly by damaging protected grounds and catching juveniles and untargeted species like turtles, whales, seabirds or dolphins.
4. Few countries have adequate capacity or resources to address effectively IUU activities in their jurisdictions. This lack of capacity contributes to a lack of detected violations and few investigations, fewer still that are actually charged and brought to court for resolution with fines and other appropriate sanctions imposed. A lack of current rules and weak systems overall also aggravate these problems in many places.

Problem Statement
We propose creating a tool that would greatly assist IUU investigators. Gather all applicable laws, regulations, decrees and any other formats used and put them together in one data base or an app. for easy searching. WWF colleagues in countries which border the Indian Ocean (e.g., Mozambique and Pakistan) confirm no similar tool exists and its value. They said …”port and other inspectors in all Indian Ocean basin countries do not have access to online laws and regulations regarding fish stocks or certain species. Port inspectors are key personnel in the fight to detect IUU fish and seize it, and keep it out of the stream of commerce. Normally they do their homework (i.e., checking the requirements) before going to inspect if there is time and materials are available. Sometimes, they hold hard copies in their hands which is difficult and not very practical.”

Additional Background
Trying to improve this lack of capacity to combat IUU is the subject of our two proposals. We are submitting a second one to apply the laws to the fish to determine its legality. A super duo if both could be done.

They also suggested two additional features : 1) a section on frequent questions and responses ” any inspector could see his question, if it was asked previously and the response, and 2) ask a question online and get a response from experts. “
Ideally these legal requirements could be updated.
Sources would include some regional and international as well as those at national level.

The United States plays a large role in IUU, even if not intentionally. Our large and lucrative market is the destination of quantities of illegal fish from around the world. As part of the work recently announced by President Obama and federal agencies to close the United States’ market to “black market fish” there will be many challenges associated with actually achieving this goal as so much of the fish consumed in the US is caught or imported from countries around the world. We actually import fish and seafood from about 130 countries. So while these tools can help other countries they can also help the US too.

Core Category
Fisheries Management; Conservation

Organization Name
The World Wildlife Fund

Organization Address
1250 24th St NW Washington, DC 20037

Organization Point of Contact (Name)
Michele Kuruc

Organization Point of Contact (Title)
Vice President, Oceans Policy

Organization Point of Contact (Phone Number)

Organization Point of Contact (Email Address)

Focus Area
Illegal Fishing

Solution Category


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