2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award

The 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award

March 10, 2016: The Winners of the Stop IUU Fishing Award Announced!

The winners of the 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest were the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), which is composed of Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion and Seychelles, for two separate projects, and Peru’s Ministerio de la Producción, for its SMS application for MCS.

The top prize was awarded to the IOC-Smartfish for its “Small Pelagic Fishing Vessel License Pilot”, under which licensing authorities affixed colored plastic tags to registered vessels. The project proved effective, and its elegant simplicity made it accessible and replicable for other developing countries. It was the unanimous choice for first place of all five judges on the Judging Panel.

(l-r) Toky Rasoloarimanana, IOC, Marcel Kroese, IOC, Daniel Collachagua, Ministerio de la Producción, Peru

WINNING PROJECTS (First through Third Places)

  • IOC-SmartFish: Pilot Project on Fishing Vessel Registration and Licensing in Tanzania (See photo above and 5th GFETW Presentation (PDF) Here)
  • IOC-SmartFish Programme: Projects on destructive fishing gear; Partnerships, sponsorship and technical assistance to prevent Blast Fishing (See 5th GFETW Presentation (PDF) Here and video below)
  • Peru: SMS SISESAT Application for the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activity to facilitate the fight against IUU fishing (See 5th GFETW Presentation (PDF) Here and video below (in Spanish))

2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award ceremony and presentations

Continuing the tradition begun at the 4th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (4th GFETW) in San José, Costa Rica, a special session at the 5th GFETW in Auckland, New Zealand was dedicated to honoring the winners and giving them the stage to deliver presentations about their winning projects.

With the support of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), the International MCS Network sponsors one representative of each winner to participate in the GFETW, a global conference about fisheries monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement, wherever in the world it is convened.

The 3rd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest will be run in parallel with preparation for the 6th GFETW – tentatively scheduled for spring 2018.

August 12, 2016: A host nation for the 6th GFETW has not yet been confirmed, but watch www.gfetw.org and www.imcsnet.org for more information in coming weeks!

Contest Logo

The Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is one way that the International MCS Network is helping to fight against illegal fishing by recognizing solutions used in both small and large-scale fisheries to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

At the Network’s joint side event on combating IUU at FAO-COFI in June 2014, International MCS Network Chair Cephas Ralph announced that the Network would hold a second contest due to the success of the first.

The 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest opened in March 2015 and closed in November 2015. Winners were announced at the Network’s 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (5th GFETW) in Auckland, New Zealand March 7-11, 2016, where they were also be invited to deliver presentations about their winning projects and programmes.


The 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is supported by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and the International MCS Network.

The flyer for the second contest, which also describes the session dedicated to announcement of winners at the Network’s 4th GFETW in San José, Costa Rica in February 2014, is available here.

The flyer is also available in Spanish (español) and in French (français), although it is preferred or entries to be submitted in whole or in part in English, where possible. Entries in French and Spanish are also accepted though and will be translated for the judges as necessary.

The entry form is available here and can also be downloaded as a Word document here.

In the first competition, a wide range of entries was received from around the world from students, intergovernmental organizations, RFMOs, information technology experts and entrepreneurs. Some examples of entries were: fishery trade data analysis for incorporation into MCS; DNA analysis translating to traceability; co-management in a small-scale fishery; digital labels for fish; SMS networks to stop dynamite fishing; data mining looking for patterns; electronic fishing permits; and software to identify choke points for IUU vessels in the ocean and at ports. Recurring themes were teamwork, cooperation, community-based participation and co-management. Entries were judged on innovation, success, feasibility and cost.

Additional information on the outcome of the inaugural Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is available here.


About the Stop IUU Fishing Award Contest

Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) is a discipline where innovation and ingenuity are highly valued. Finding ways to outsmart the illegal actors is crucial. Those who break the rules are endlessly adept at finding ways around the law and authorities are challenged to stay ahead of the lawbreakers. Many good ideas to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are being put into action but often the MCS community and those who want to encourage compliance simply are not aware of some of the newest and most effective approaches for detecting illegal activities successfully.

In 2011, at the Committee on Fisheries meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) it was recognized that, “development and implementation of appropriate tools and approaches remain vital”. The Stop IUU Fishing Award seeks to encourage and recognize development of appropriate MCS tools that will help in the global fight against IUU fishing.

Submissions related to any monitoring, control and surveillance practice for fisheries-related activities making, or with the potential to make a substantial contribution to combat IUU fishing were excepted for the contest. This includes: a technology, tool, method, process, or practice that provides and effective response in addressing IUU fishing and which demonstrates innovation, success and tangible impact.

In particular the contest aims to:

  • Identify and learn how selected MCS practices can strengthen successful ways to fight IUU fishing globally
  • Promote new venue for knowledge exchange and provide winners with visibility and support to expand their work
  • Explore potential for replication of selected MCS practices across fishing communities/regions/nations, facilitating the implementation of pilot projects


Entries will be evaluated by an international panel of judges composed of leading experts from the MCS field and judged based on the following selection criteria:

  • Success: tangible impact in reducing IUU fishing
  • Innovation: creative solutions to combating IUU activities
  • Feasibility and cost: practical and able to be replicated and/or adapted by others. Assessing the costs, taking into account location and ultimate benefits

About the Stop IUU Fishing Award Logo

Contest LogoOn the left side, the logo features an adult and a juvenile fish in a circle, representing how nature protects itself. On the right side is a fishing net, which is not an inherently negative symbol but here represents those in the community who do not respect the marine environment, which is what motivates the work of the International MCS Network, as represented by the green squiggle in the middle of the logo.

Please see flyer above for further details about the contest.