A Seminar on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, under the aegis of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), was conducted by the Indian Navy at Goa on 02 November 2022. As the third largest ocean, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is a lifeline for nearly 35% of global population. Fish and Fisheries comprise important components of food security chain. These also contribute significantly to national socio-economic development. Sustainable fishing is seriously compromised by IUU fishing activities and are therefore a major cause of concern for the littorals of IOR. The IORA Working Group on Maritime Safety and Security (WGMSS), established in September 2018, accordingly identified this as an area of greater collaboration. The WGMSS is presently chaired by Sri Lanka, and is advancing the IORA Action Plan 2017-21, adopted by IORA Member States.
Representatives from 14 out of 23 IORA Member States (Bangladesh, Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Tanzania and Thailand) attended the Seminar.
During the Seminar, the attendees reviewed the scale of IUU fishing activities in the IOR, discussed the adverse effects of such developments on marine ecosystem, the legal voids in tackling these activities and deliberated upon collaborative strategies and capacity building measures that could be pursued by the IORA Member States towards mitigating the menace of IUU Fishing in IOR.
IORA established in 1997, this year marks the 25th Anniversary of IORA. India, as a founding member of IORA, remains committed to IORA’s agenda of promoting cooperation in the region to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean Region.