United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Intervention of the Chief of the UNECE Trade Facilitation Section, Maria Ceccarelli,
at the UNECE Ocean Conference, New York 5-9 June 2017

Partnership Dialogue 4
Making Fisheries Sustainable
Wednesday, 7 June 2017: 10:00 am to 13:00 Conference Room 4

Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear participants,
We all know that overfishing, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) are serious, destructive fishing practices. In 2016, illicit fishing was reported to be one fourth of the total fish harvested annually: 26 million tons, valued at up to 23 billion US Dollars. Besides economic damage, such practices threaten local biodiversity and food security in many countries.
To date, the management of fisheries and fish stocks has been largely based on the collection and exchange of large sets of data between fishery management organizations (FMOs). However, in most cases, data is random and inconsistent, different types of data sets are used, paper documentation is widespread and data management costs are very high.
Amid growing concerns about the grave problem of overfishing by today’s modern fishing fleets, addressed by SDG 14, UNECE with its UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and eBusiness (UN/CEFACT) has come up with a concrete solution: a standard, which helps to improve fisheries information management, and plays a key role in preventing overfishing and the collapse of global fish stocks.
FLUX allows Fishery Management Organizations (FMOs) to automatically access the electronic data from fishing vessels, such as vessel identification; and fishing data (such as catch area, species and quantity, date and time). With this standard, FMOs around the world have, for the first time, a communication tool to automate the collection and dissemination of the fishery catch data needed for sustainable fishery management, and for detecting and combatting IUU fishing.
This standard, adopted in 2016, has had a high acceptance rate among fishermen and traders, and is being used in all EU Member States and other countries across the globe.
In addition, the development of a reliable and up-to-date database on fish catches will improve research on science-based fishery management. UNECE is also working towards the establishment of a Team of Specialists for the promotion of sustainable fishery standards, as a new global partnership in sustainable fisheries management, with experts from governments, private sector, civil society, consumer associations and international organizations.
Its work will contribute to the promotion of sustainable fisheries management and traceability of fish products on a global scale, which is the commitment that UNECE and UN/CEFACT have submitted for the Call for Action launched at the Ocean Conference.
Thank you.