The challenges in combatting illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing have become more complex not only domestically but globally.
Brunei Darussalam, through the Department of Fisheries and relevant law enforcement agencies are committed to providing cooperation to address the emerging issues.
This was said by Sheikh Haji Al-Idrus bin Sheikh Haji Nikman of the Department of Fisheries during a session on ‘Managing issues and challenges of IUU fishing in Brunei Darussalam’ on the final day of the Sustaining Marine Biodiversity Through Blue Economy Symposium held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam to mark Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (Brunei MYCE 2023).
He added that Brunei Darussalam’s National Plan of Action (NPOA) to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing has been enforced since 2011.
Providing the blueprint of strategic actions to address the issues and challenges of IUU fishing is in accordance with the Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) to promote responsible fishing practices, he noted.
Sheikh Haji Al-Idrus said, “The Fisheries Order 2009 and Chapter 130 of the Brunei Fishery Limit Act are the main legislation and the backbone for fisheries management plans, policies and strategies.
He added, “Brunei Darussalam also conducts a joint sea patrol operation with relevant law enforcement agencies to monitor, control and surveillance within Brunei Darussalam’s exclusive economic zone maritime waters.”
The objectives of the NPOA-IUU in-line with RPOA-IUU are to strengthen the overall level of fisheries management in the region, in order to sustain fisheries resources and the marine environment; and to optimise the benefit of adopting responsible fishing practices.
He also highlighted fisheries management programmes including the introduction of a fishing zonation system; freezing the issuance of new fishing licenses; freezing new trawler applications since 2000; enforcement on the regulation that bans the catching, landing, and trading of all shark species since 2015; and the launch of the Coral Conservation, Awareness, Rehabilitation and Enrichment (CARE) programme.