Break put on $23 billion illicit fishing tradeListen /
A set of international guidelines which could help to curtail the illicit fishing trade worth up to $23 billion a year has been agreed by countries around the world.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Flag State Performance which are backed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) endorse a set of international regulations that will hold states more accountable for the activities of fishing vessels flying their flags.
It's expected that the agreement will help in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated or IUU fishing.
Matthew Camilleri is an FAO fisheries officer.
"IUU fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems and undermines any effort taken at national level, regional or international level to manage fisheries properly." (13″)
While statistics are difficult to gauge, it is believed that IUU fishing has escalated over the past 20 years.
It is now estimated to amount to up to 26 million tonnes of fish harvested illicitly each year.
It's thought the value of that fish is as high as $23 billion.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations