Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing is one of the most critical challenges for achieving sustainable fisheries. This includes illicit and unsustainable fishing practices, as well as human and worker rights violations on fishing vessels and in seafood processing and packaging facilities.
Australia has shown strong leadership to combat illegal fishing within its own waters and across the Asia Pacific region. This includes adopting measures to prevent, deter and detect illegal fishing within Australian waters – as well as preventing illegal operators from landing catches at Australian ports.
However, we are far behind our peers – in particular, the United States and the European Union – in terms of keeping illegally produced seafood out of the Australian market.
Our Mending the Net report calls for regulations to ensure imported seafood sold in Australia complies with the same sustainability and labour standards as locally sourced seafood. Stronger controls would require an imported product to demonstrate the product was legally produced prior to import, and establish a verified traceability and labelling scheme that covers all aspects of the supply chain, from harvest to plate.
The report reviews Australia’s current policies and legislation on seafood importation, traceability and labelling and identifies clear gaps that allow illegal seafood to enter the Australian market.
Urgent action needs to be taken by the Australian government to enforce a level playing field that ensures the same standards are applied to the seafood we import, as the seafood we catch in our own waters.
Current reporting status of key data elements needed to prevent importation of illegal seafood into Australia
Join our mailing list to learn how you can support tougher seafood import controls in Australia.