Advantages in fighting illegal fishing

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By Matthew Ader*

Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing costs Asia billions of dollars a year and constitutes a third of the entire regional catch. It has strong links with sea slavery and unregulated migration – the Thai fishing fleet employs 50,000 foreigners annually, often criminally underpaid and held in poor conditions – along with other criminal enterprises, such as underage prostitution. Moreover, it leads to dramatic overfishing, damaging local economies and causing serious environmental damage. All countries in the region acknowledge it is a major issue with cross-cutting impacts, yet generally lack the capabilities to manage it.

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