Combating IUU Fishing in South American Squid Fisheries

Squid in a fish market. Photo taken from SFP's Target 75 2019 Update
Grantee Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
Grant Amount $910,000
Duration Three Years

 The Jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas) and the Argentine shortfin squid (Illex argentinus) are the two most important squid fisheries in the world. Both fisheries, occurring on either side of South America and largely within oceanic waters bordering the 200-nautical mile EEZs, face a number of sustainability challenges. In South Atlantic waters, there is no currently operating regional fisheries management body mandated to manage the Argentine shortfin squid fishery, resulting in a total lack of management and control over the distant-water fishing fleet. In South Pacific waters, the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) is mandated to manage the jumbo flying squid fishery. However, despite the global importance of the fishery, lack of attention by the SPRFMO to jumbo flying squid has resulted in important deficiencies in collection of data from the fisheries, which forms the scientific basis for decision making, a lack of management, and lack of enforcement.

IUU fishing is a key problem in both fisheries. In the jumbo flying squid fishery, the SPRFMO maintains a register of fishing vessels operating in the Convention Area. However, there is a lack of monitoring, control, and surveillance systems in the high seas. In the Argentine shortfin squid fishery, cases of illegal fishing have been reported and the high seas fishery, as noted above, is unregulated.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) has been engaging international suppliers and key vendors (producers, processors, and exporters) from producing countries to work together on a pre-competitive basis to address these issues. In the case of squid fisheries, this work is carried out through two tools: first, through the Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR), and second through fishery-specific Regional Key Vendors Groups. The Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable is a forum of buyers (importers and distributors) of global squid, who work together in a pre-competitive environment to achieve improvements in squid fisheries. SFP provides SR participants coordination support, technical and purchasing advice, and updated information on the sustainability of the fisheries they source from, as well as the improvements needed. This support enables the development of improved purchasing policies as well as importers’ and distributors’ direct engagement in improvement efforts.

A Regional Key Vendors Group is an association of producers, processors, and exporters who work together to address the sustainability challenges faced at the regional level by the fishery or fisheries upon which their livelihoods depend. SFP provides logistical and secretariat support, along with updated information and technical advice so that the group understands the sustainability issues and the policy changes needed to address them.

This project is aimed at engaging national industries in Latin America (producers, processors, and exporters — referred to as key vendors) and global supply chains (importers and main distributors — referred to as suppliers; and the retail sector — referred to as retailers) in the US and European markets in the use of global transparency tools. The goal of the project is to use the power of the market to contribute to eradicating IUU fishing in the South Pacific jumbo flying squid fishery and the Argentine shortfin squid fishery.