Philippine IUU Fishing Index

and Threat Assessment Tool

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The Philippine IUU Fishing Index and Threat Assessment Tool is a suite of tools to (a) assess the status of IUU fishing in a given area, (b) identify other longer-lasting and targeted solutions to reducing IUU fishing, and (c) track the progress towards preventing, deterring, and eliminating IUU fishing in Philippine waters across various levels of governance, from municipal to fisheries management areas to the entire country.

It has three components:

Part A. IUU Fishing Assessment Guide: A series of modules, workshop session plans, and forms to conduct a participatory workshop with local stakeholders for an in-depth assessment of IUU fishing in their waters.

Part B. IUU Fishing Index: An evidence-based standardized scoring tool to allow for comparison of different areas in terms of their vulnerability to IUU fishing, current prevalence and magnitude of IUU fishing threats, and on-going responses to address these sources of vulnerabilities. The Index is intended to be completed only after going through a participatory and facilitated IUU Fishing Assessment.

Part C. IUU Fishing Reduction Planning Guide: Following the completion of the assessment and scoring and after processing all the result from the IUU Fishing Assessment, this guide, consisting of a series of modules, workshop session plans, presentations, and forms would help stakeholders identify appropriate response plans to reduce IUU fishing within a given and agreed time period.

The IUU Fishing Index evaluates the level of threat of IUU fishing in a given area (e.g., municipal waters, FMAs)

Why do we need it?

Current measures of IUU fishing in the country are output-based (e.g., number of patrols, number of apprehensions, cases filed, settled, Fisheries Compliance Audit, etc.). While these are useful operational metrics, they do not inform us about the state of IUU fishing and its impacts. Other measures such as remote sensing / satellite data (e.g., VIIRS Boat Detection) and anonymous reports only give us a partial perspective on the IUU fishing occurrence / incidences. Likewise, while global and regional rankings are valuable in providing a big picture at the macro level, they are too generalized to sufficiently inform fisheries management at the LGU and even at the country level. Having a standardized tool would provide a way of objectively assessing how well we are doing in terms of deterring, preventing, and eliminating IUU fishing in Philippine waters.

It is envisioned to apply to all waters within Philippine jurisdiction, the current version of the Tool starts with the municipal waters, gradually expanding in scope to cover waters outside municipal jurisdiction within all 12 Fisheries Management Areas and eventually the entire Philippine waters.

What are the benefits of using the tool?

As LGUs, BFAR and other fishery managers throughout the country use the I-FIT Tool, this:

  • facilitates evidence-based understanding of the state of IUU fishing

  • allows for comparison across given areas and across the country

  • aids fishery managers in adjusting their IUU fishing reduction interventions, based on this evidence-based understanding

  • leads to focused, targeted IUU fishing reduction responses in a given area

  • enables fishery managers and enforcement teams to go beyond the typical tactical enforcement operations and shift towards enhancing fishers’ compliance to fishery laws and regulations, based on specific IUU fishing threats

  • assist fishery managers in leveraging resources to respond commensurately to the extent and impact of IUU fishing in their area

  • can eventually serve as a performance indicator matrix for DA-BFAR and LGUs and other fishery management bodies

  • allows for standardized and comparable tracking of progress of a given area and the entire country in reducing IUU fishing over time

Who may use the I-FIT tool?

BFAR, together USAID and its partners, envision the wide use of this tool by fishery managers and stakeholders across the country. In coordination with BFAR, local government units, civil society organizations, higher education institutions, development partners and other fishery managers may use the I-FIT Tool to assess the extent of IUU fishing, reduce IUU fishing and track the progress in eliminating IUU fishing in a given area on an annual basis

BFAR encourages users of the tool to share results of the assessment and reduction efforts with the BFAR Provincial Offices and Regional Offices and/or directly with the BFAR Fishery Protection and Law Enforcement Group at fpleg@bfar.da.gov.ph.

The I-FIT Tool

IUU Fishing Primer Videos