IUU Fishing

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing encompasses unauthorised fishing and all fishing activities that are a serious breach of national, regional or international rules and global fisheries conservation measures.

EU 2178-2017  list of vessels suspected of being involved in IUU fishing

IUU fishing on the high seas is a seriously organised, mobile and illusive activity undermining the efforts of responsible countries to sustainably manage their fisheries resources:

"...It depletes fish stocks, destorys marine habitats, distorts competition, puts honest fishermen at an unfair advantage, and weakens coastal communities..."  European Commission website for IUU Fishing

Previous studies have indicated that the global cost of IUU fishing is believed to range between $10 and $23 billion per year.

In response to this, the EU introduced new Regulations to deter, prevent and eliminate IUU fishing.  This legislation came into effect on 1st January 2010, and creates new requirements on fish and fishery products entering the EU market from third countries; and also for fishery products leaving the EU and entering into the markets of third countries.

The practical implications of the Regulations are that all Importers must ensure, if applicable, that a Validated Catch Certificate from a Competent Authority of the flag state of the vessel that landed the fish is available for every consignment.Exporters must ensure an Irish Catch Certificate is available if requested by the country of destination or if Irish catches are to be re-exported to the EU following processing in a non EU Country.

The following pages provide all the information you need to know - whether you are an importer of fish into Ireland from a third country; or planning on exporting fish from Ireland to a third country.

If you have any further questions or queries, the IUU Office can be contacted on the following:


+353 (0)23 88 59300

+353 (0)87 77 51243

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