Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing in Southeast Asia

Tetra Tech supported the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (Oceans) in a multinational effort to increase the sustainability of fishing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Seafood plays a critical role in global food security and trade, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the world’s protein intake. The waters of the Asia-Pacific region are home to the most biologically diverse and productive ocean ecosystems on Earth, providing food and income to more than 200 million people in the region alone. The United States imports more than 90 percent of its seafood from Southeast Asia. However, increasing levels of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing poses a serious threat to fisheries’ sustainability in the region, negatively impacts local food security and community livelihoods, and degrades marine biodiversity.

“USAID Oceans engaged in regional outreach and engagement, mobilizing its well-established reputation as a regional thought leader in capture fisheries traceability, fisheries management, and human welfare.”

– Cristina Velez, Contracting Officer’s Representative, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia

In 2015 Secretary of State John Kerry announced the USAID Oceans activity as a multinational effort to combat IUU fishing practices in Southeast Asia by implementing electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT), strengthened fisheries management, and increased attention to human welfare and gender equity issues within the fisheries sector. Tetra Tech led the implementation of the regional collaboration between USAID, the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF), and ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Tetra Tech worked with public and private sector partners across Southeast Asia to design, test, and implement eCDT technologies and systems that are effective, easy-to-use, and financially sustainable. The eCDT technologies support:

  • Real-time seafood product tracking from point-of-catch, through all stages of the fishery supply chain, to the retail market
  • Informed management and trade decisions, harvest control rules, enforcement actions, and border and port inspections for fisheries managers and government regulators
  • Increased transparency to help countries comply with seafood traceability regulations
  • Improved seafood traceability and transparency to increase fishers’ access to regulated international seafood markets
  • Strengthened maritime security to reduce illegally sourced fish in seafood supply chains

Watch the project video to learn more about Tetra Tech’s work promoting sustainable fisheries in the Asia-Pacific region.