IUU Fishing in the Developing World: A Growing Threat to Regional and Global Security

Blog Post

IUU Fishing in the Developing World: A Growing Threat to Regional and Global Security

This post is part of the Natural Security Forum blog, which provides quick analysis from the Natural Security Forum team and outside contributors. For more information, visit the Natural Security Forum's micro-site at www.naturalsecurityforum.org. 

Guest written by Captain Timothy (Tim) Doorey, USN (Ret.)

Illegal, Unreported or Unregulated (IUU) fishing is primarily a law enforcement issue, and since the U.S. Navy is prohibited from conducting law enforcement activities, I had never been involved in — or paid much attention to — the problem of IUU fishing during my 28-year career as a Navy intelligence officer. Instead, my focus was primarily on nation-state threats. However, after I started my second career in 2009 teaching international officials the ways to counter transnational threats at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, I soon learned that IUU was of great concern to many developing countries around the world.

In July 2010, I conducted the first in a series of South Asian maritime security programs in Male, Maldives with senior Coast Guard, Navy and civilian maritime representatives from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. We began the program by dividing the participants up by country and having them conduct a simple, yet valuable, risk assessment exercise to help them prioritize threats to their nations. In many of the debriefs, IUU fishing was listed among the top five threats to national security.

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