U.S. strategy includes partners, whole-of-government to counter Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing

From a security standpoint IUU has been noted to threaten nations in many forms – from criminal activity at ports to the rule of law. These activities, coupled with food security, loss of income, and climate change all lead to instability.


“Togetherness means no one nation has to tackle these challenges alone.” Lt. Gen. Smith
By Patrick Loch United States Africa Command Stuttgart, Germany Oct 25, 2022
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For decades Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing has been a global problem affecting ocean ecosystems, threatening economic and food security, and putting law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers at a disadvantage.

From a security standpoint IUU has threatened nations in many forms – from criminal activity at ports to the rule of law. These activities, coupled with food security, loss of income, and climate change, all lead to instability.

The U.S. has released a 5-year strategy that outlines a regional approach that focuses on ‘flag states’ to support a whole-of-government approach to counter IUU fishing and related threats to maritime security.

“Each flag state or administration has demonstrated a willingness to and interest in taking effective action against IUU fishing activities associated with its vessels,” the report reads. “The U.S. aims to assist these governments and authorities to become self-sufficient, regional leaders in the fight against IUU fishing.”

One example of how the U.S. is helping partner nations in Africa with IUU is through a bilateral enforcement agreement to help protect Senegalese fisheries resources. The U.S. whole-of-government approach is also evident in a $15 million project – through USAID – to improve sustainability and detect and deter IUU fishing in Senegal.

These efforts will build off existing, partner-centric approaches like the Djibouti and Yaoundé Codes of Conduct and multinational maritime exercises Phoenix and Obangame Express to counter piracy and illicit activity in Africa’s waters.

“Togetherness means no one nation has to tackle these challenges alone,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Kirk Smith, deputy commander, U.S. Africa Command, during Obangame Express 2022. “And that we each stand a little taller while shoulder to shoulder in the pursuit of peace and prosperity.”

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