In 1999, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development highlighted the issues of flag and port State responsibilities and the need for FAO and IMO to cooperate on solving problems relating to IUU Fishing. As requested by the UN General Assembly, the Maritime Safety and the Marine Environment Protection Committees of IMO agreed to cooperate with FAO and the Joint FAO/IMO ad hoc Working Group on IUU Fishing and Related Matters was established in October 2000. In 2019, ILO formally joined the Working Group.
The JWG is a very important inter-agency mechanism and its previous meeting sessions already had significant achievements, one of which was the planting of the initial seeds for the Cape Town Agreement at its second session. The JWG holds the unique mandate to demonstrate the merit of bringing together the representatives of national Administrations in charge of fisheries- and maritime transport-related matters, as well as employer and worker representatives to address these issues. It makes the working group fully competent to deal with IUU fishing through the development of robust measures to be considered by the three collaborating UN organizations. For example, in this context, the harmonized implementation of instruments of the three Organizations might call for enhanced cooperation among inspection regimes, such as port State control regimes and regional fisheries management organizations.
The first session was held in Rome, Italy from 9 to 11 October 2000, and the report is available here.
The second session was held in Rome, Italy from 16 to 18 July 2007, and the report is available here.
The third session was held in London from 16 to 18 November 2015, and the report is available here.
The forth session was held in Torremolinos from 21 to 23 October 2019, and the report is available here.