NOAA and USAID join forces to help nations combat illegal fishing practices

December 30, 2020
IUU fishing practices hurt law-abiding fishermen, damage the economy, and threaten our food security.

The United States has taken another step forward as an international leader in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing — a practice that threatens global food security, damages economies, and risks the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems.

Today, NOAA entered into a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to combat IUU fishing across borders and promote sustainable fisheries abroad. 

Through this agreement, the two agencies plan to build upon each other's respective programs, strategies and investments to: 

  1. Support developing countries as they strengthen their own assessment, monitoring and enforcement capabilities;
  2. Promote innovations in combating IUU fishing through alliances with other governments and the private sector; and
  3. Increase incentives for compliance and consequences for violating fisheries rules.

“Together, our two agencies are well positioned to help nations combat IUU fishing practices which have emerged as a leading maritime security threat and are associated with human rights abuses and other forms of transnational crime,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator. “I commend the staff of NOAA and USAID who worked to develop this agreement, and thank all those who work every day to stop IUU fishing through diplomacy, enforcement, and science.”

This partnership builds on NOAA's larger work with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Coast Guard under the Maritime SAFE Act, which was signed into law last year.

Learn more about IUU fishing and NOAA’s role in combating these activities.