Wednesday, June 26 • 10:30 - 12:00
llegal, unregulated and unreported fishing: who's in charge?

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Chaired by: Vandergeest, P.

How illegal ‘saiko’ fishing is fuelling the collapse of Ghana’s fisheries 
Remy Käller

Saiko is the local name for a particularly destructive form of illegal fishing, where Chino-Ghanaian trawlers target the staple catch of Ghanaian canoe fishers. It is then transferred to specially adapted canoes out at sea, and sold back to the fishing communities. This used to be a practice whereby canoes would buy the unwanted by-catch of industrial vessels. However, the practice has developed into a lucrative industry. These catches, which often contain juvenile fish, are landed by the saiko canoes for onward sale to local markets. This has severe implications for Ghana’s small-scale fishing industry - which is critical to food security and provides significantly more jobs than the saiko industry. The saiko industry has expanded rapidly in recent years, at a time of severe declines in the catches of artisanal fishers. In 2017, around 80 saiko canoes landed the equivalent of over 55% of the landings of the entire artisanal sector. With the capacity to hold around 26 tonnes of fish, an average saiko canoe lands in a single trip the equivalent of approximately 450 artisanal fishing trips. Landings through Saiko are almost twice as high as the official landings by the industrial trawl fleet. In this presentation a short film will be shown.

Where’s the governor? IUU fishing and the regulation of seafood trade in Australia
Sonia Garcia Garcia

The emergence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing over the past two decades galvanized a variety of actors to advance in the regulation of high seas fishing in the name of the conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources. This process enabled the introduction of environmental provisions into international trade from the perspective of legality, which has proven more palatable to the trade regime than environmental stewardship. The European Union and the United States have led the establishment of legality as a proxy for different environmental and social accountability concerns and have implemented unilateral trade measures to prevent seafood sourced from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing from entering their markets through traceability schemes. This doctoral research explores the possibility that other market economies may adopt similar approaches. I use Foucaultian discourse analysis to analyze the regulation of the Australian seafood at the point of sale from an interactive governance approach, asking: how has illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing been constructed in Australia? By whom and for what purpose? What are the implications of this construction for the current regulation of seafood labelling and traceability? The results provide insights into the possibilities and obstacles for anti- illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing measures being used as trade related fisheries conservation measures in other countries. This research is also intended as a reminder that interrogating the construction of the subjects and the objects of governance, as well as the underlying rationalities of government remains key to the analysis of governance as a political process.

Sustaining fish and fishworkers? Exploring governance mechanisms to address human rights in
the Thai Fisheries reform after the EU’s IUU ‘yellow card’

Alin Kadfak, Sebastian Linke & Than Pole

Revelations of ‘modern slavery’ in the Thai fishing industry have received widespread international
attention through media and NGO investigations exposing widespread trafficking and slave-like
practices for migrant fishworkers. The international scandal influenced the European Union in 2015
to give a yellow card to Thailand, a warning indicating possible economic sanctions unless Illegal,
Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing practices are eliminated. International media and NGO
reports have influenced the EU to for the first-time mandate fishworkers’ rights along with improved
sustainable fishing practices in the present fisheries reform program in Thailand. In response, the Thai
government introduced the most extensive fisheries reform program the country ever experienced,
addressing human rights alongside the sustainability of fish catches. The increasing concerns of both
aspects, environmental sustainability and a human rights approach for migrant workers on Thai fishing
boats, have for the first-time evoked a number of activities, initiatives and partnerships among
environmental organisations and human rights actors, as well as international retailers (e.g. Seafood
Taskforce) to solve the IUU problem in Thailand. In this paper we examine how these various actors
influenced the Thai fisheries reform, asking ‘How has the EU-initiated reform of Thai fisheries brought
together new domestic and international actors to influence, negotiate and form alliances in
rearranged governance mechanisms?’. Our paper aims to contribute to an emerging dialogue where
sustainable fisheries management is no-longer only concerned with the overexploitation of marine
seafood but also with the evolution of rights-based legislations as exemplified by the attempts to
reduce human rights violations in the Thai fishing industry.

Why Does Illegal Unreported Unregulated fishing (IUUF) in Indonesia persist?: Examining the Effectiveness of the International Fisheries Regime’s contributions in eradicating IUU fishing in Indonesia
Nilmawati Nilmawati

The measures adopted in the efforts to eradicate IUUF in Indonesia emerged from and is rooted in international fisheries instruments. Since 1985, Indonesia has ratified and adopted both legally and non-legally binding existing international fisheries instruments, and has tried to comply with the stipulated rules ever since. This includes, joining three Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) as a full member, as well as initiating and participating actively in regional cooperation to combat IUU fishing. However, despite Indonesia’s considerable international efforts, including regional participation with other Southeast Asian countries in combating IUU fishing, IUU fishing operations in Indonesian territorial waters and Economic Exclusive zone (IEEZ) by both foreign and domestic entities still exist. Therefore, this paper attempts to explore the extent to which the international fisheries regime has contributed to IUU fishing eradication in Indonesia. The purpose is to understand what impact the international measures being adopted and implemented in Indonesia have had in terms of reducing IUU fishing. Through the lens of regime effectiveness theory, it is hoped a greater understanding of this tenacious problem can be achieved. This exploration aims to uncover the existing gaps and challenges for Indonesia which hinders full implementation of IUU fishing initiatives and hence the persistence of IUU fishing.

avatar for Sonia Garcia Garcia

Sonia Garcia Garcia

PhD Candidate, University of Technology Sydney
avatar for Nilmawati


PhD Student, University of Amsterdam (UvA)
I am a PhD student working to understand how fisheries regime located at different levels of governance, affects the state of IUU fishing in Indonesian waters

Wednesday June 26, 2019 10:30 - 12:00
REC A1.02 Roeters Eiland Complex, University of Amsterdam