Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) is key to the integrity of the international legal framework and the rules-based international order. A report by the Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue (AP4D) considers this problem and how Australia can combat IUU fishing with a range of defence, development and diplomacy tools.

As acknowledged in the 2016 defence white paper, IUU fishing can pose a direct security threat to Australia’s maritime resources and borders. Australia has the world’s third largest exclusive economic zone, stretching across the Pacific, Southern and Indian Oceans. IUU fishing threatens the harvest of fish stocks both within and beyond the Australian Fishing Zone, impacting fishing communities in Australia and in neighbouring countries.

This issue will only worsen as the climate changes. Climate change is already affecting the abundance and distribution of fisheries with more significant declines predicted, especially in the equatorial zone. With declining fish stocks pushing fishing fleets into different areas, including Australian waters, Australia must engage multilaterally and build coalitions against IUU fishing.

Please click here to read the full “Reeling in illegal fishing is crucial to Australia’s maritime security” article published at The Strategist, written by Melissa Conley Tyler, Michael Heazle (Griffith Asia Institute), Jade Lindley and Sharon Cowden.