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Longo, Andrea (2022) 'Fish-food for thought : the contribution of international courts and tribunals towards a new human-oriented paradigm of illegal fishing.' ESIL Paper Series, 2022 (16). Glasgow: European Society of International Law (ESIL).

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Recent data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that fish stocks around the world are increasingly overexploited, if not already depleted, constituting a major threat to the sustainability of marine environment and ecosystems. Among the primary causes of overfishing and fish-stocks depletion, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) has serious implications for the conservation and management of marine living resources, as well as for the food security and economies of several States, particularly developing States and coastal communities. Yet, the scope of IUU fishing has been subject of debate: whilst it is fundamentally understood as an environmental threat to marine ecosystems, the most recent literature has shed some light on the phenomenon implications on the paradigm of global security, especially declined in its human dimension. Indeed, environmental problems are just the most visible part of numerous crimes and illicit activities connected to a varying degree to the fisheries sector and ranging from forced labour on board vessels to fraud and money laundering along the supply chain. Against this background, the present work calls for and discusses the integration of the human element into the paradigm of illegal fishing by drawing lessons from the jurisprudence of three international courts and tribunals. First, it highlights the human security dimension of fishing activities, shedding light over the connection between IUU fishing and the various forms of unlawful behaviours and illegalities within the fishery sector and underlining the inadequacy of the former paradigm to address them. Second, the work investigates the possibility of seeking protection for human rights violations connected to fisheries activities before international courts and tribunals, including – but not limited to – the tribunals envisaged under Part XV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). As a matter of fact, whereas the jurisdiction of UNCLOS tribunals is limited ratione materiae, nonetheless they have been fundamental in the advancement of the protection of individuals at sea. Likewise, the European Court of Human Rights and the EU Court of Justice have recently adjudicated cases relating to human rights violations and illegalities in the context of fishing activities, highlighting the urgency to further investigate the human rights dimension of fisheries. These three jurisdictions are set to provide guidance for future IUU fishing litigations, potentially contributing to shape a new holistic and human rights-oriented strategy to address the multifaceted nature of the broader phenomenon of illegalities within the fishery sector.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: ISSN: 1831-4066
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
ISSN: 1831-4066
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2024 17:35

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