The ocean, an engine for food, economic and environmental security is under assault from overuse—collapsing fish stocks, pollution, and the devastating effects of climate change. At the same time, fishing is big business, with over 56 million people working on vessels to support it worldwide. Despite this, the seafood supply chain is opaque, impeding effective fisheries management and risking the livelihoods and food security of millions.
Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU), an illicit business which generates estimated annual profits of $36.billion, poses unique challenges to states and communities, undermining their ability to manage fish stocks while also being associated with transnational organized crime, labor concerns and trafficking. These issues pose a direct threat to U.S. national and global security. This project provides decision makers with resources and information needed to quantify and understand the convergence of these critical issues and its links to other security threats.
Our work seeks to combat IUU fishing by operationalizing civil-military response to IUU fishing, supporting diplomacy between governments, and increasing cooperation between the security and conservation communities, with the goal of protecting valuable marine resources.
Through engagement with stakeholders around the globe, Stimson also serves as an advisor to the annual Our Ocean Conference, a global conference that focuses on commitments and actions to protect the ocean, while ensuring the ocean remains a foreign policy imperative entering the ocean decade.