The Dangers of Illegal Fishing

(ZIZ News) – A visiting official from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said it is critical for the Federation to tackle Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported or I.U.U. fishing.

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, Dr. Raymon Van Anrooy said this practice can have many negative effects on a country.

He said, “Because IUU fishing, the Department of Marine Resources in St. Kitts and Nevis is failing to achieve the nationally agreed fisheries management goals and objectives. IUU fishing leads to the loss of both short and long term social and economic opportunities and to negative effects on food security and environmental protection.”

He said illegal fishers do not comply with regulations that legitimate fishers follow which often leads to overfishing and conflict within communities.

“IUU fishers can be called ‘free riders’ who don’t care about the other fishers’ livelihoods and income. They put coastal fishing communities’ social cohesion at risk, cause conflicts and their illegal practices lead to violence, accidents and even casualties within the Caribbean,” he said.

He said, internationally, efforts have been made to stop IUU fishing and St. Kitts and Nevis could benefit from joining in these efforts.

FAO officials are taking part in consultations to shape laws which will guide the fisheries sector forward.