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4th Stop IUU Fishing Award

The IMCS Network presents the 4th Stop IUU Fishing Award to the Bahamas
Bahamas enforcement banner

Image @ Shane Gross / iLCP

The IMCS Network has presented the 4th Stop IUU Fishing Award to the Bahamas Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources for the Marine Action Partnership. The Award was presented at the 7th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The award recognises MCS innovations used in fisheries that demonstrate creativity, success, and that have real impact.

The Marine Action Partnership is a Bahamas Department of Marine Resources-led, multi-year initiative that enhances marine patrol, investigative, and operational coordination among national and international law enforcement partners. The Marine Action Partnership also seeks to increase collaboration between law enforcement, fishing communities, protected area managers, and other stakeholders. The Marine Action Partnership is the result of collaboration between the Bahamas and WildAid Marine, The Nature Conservancy, the United States, Canada and other agencies committed to ending IUU fishing. It is a clear demonstration of the value of effective collaboration and cooperation to enhance fisheries MCS, compliance and enforcement approaches.

The Marine Action Partnership was formally adopted in 2022 and directly supports increased marine resource protection through 33 action items under four objectives.

  1. Elevated responses to foreign and domestic poaching.
  2. Maintaining high compliance with regulations.
  3. Increasing consumer and marketplace awareness to discourage illegal trade.
  4. Collaborative pathways between and among law enforcement agencies and fishery stakeholders.

Fisheries MCS is a discipline where innovation and ingenuity are highly valued. Finding effective, creative, and cost-effective ways to combat and deter IUU fishing is crucial to ensuring sustainable fisheries around the world. Effective collaboration and coordination is also key and the Bahamas has been successful in harnessing these principles for the protection of its valuable marine resources.

In addition to the Award, three entries were awarded meritorious recognitions including the Indian Ocean Commission for the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Plan, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership for the Universal Fishery Identification System and the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority for the work in the world's largest tuna transhipment port.

Bahamas fisheries at market

Image @ Shane Gross / iLCP

Mr. Gary Orr, the Chair of the IMCS Network, congratulated all who entered the 2023 Stop IUU Fishing Award. The quality of the competition this year was outstanding but what really stands out is the standard of innovations and opportunities that so many fisheries organizations are creating and achieving.

All the entries captured the spirit of the award and of the GFETW – Moving from Words to Action! The IMCS Network was impressed with the level of creativity, innovation, and collaboration and we congratulate all entries for their efforts!

Mr Gary Orr, Chair of the IMCS Network

Globally, IUU fishing is estimated to cause losses of USD $10-30 billion annually and there are unquantified, but nevertheless, indirect negative consequences for marine resources, fishers, and food security. In the short term, IUU fishing results in the unsustainable harvest of fish stocks and other loss of fish for future harvest, loss of nutrition and loss of income for legitimate fishers.  In the long term, it can deplete local, and even some global fish stocks to the point where they become commercially unviable or even push species to the brink of extinction. It is critical that those working at the forefront of fisheries MCS are supported as they are key to combatting IUU fishing at the national, regional and global level.

The IMCS Network was established in 2001 to promote and facilitate communication, cooperation, coordination, and capacity development across the fisheries MCS, compliance and enforcement community. We are about our people and work to support efforts to combat IUU fishing to ensure the sustainable fisheries!

Media: Sarah Lenel, +61 408 860 935,

Published 02 Aug 2023