According to available information from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO),for some important fisheries,catches resulted from Illegal,Unreported and Unregulated fishing(IUU) fishing accounts for up to 30% of their total catches. In addition,researches also indicate that the economic loss caused by IUU fishing is roughly estimated between 10-23 billion US dollars per year. Combating IUU fishing is therefore one of the key factors to enhance food security,reduce hunger and poverty and maintain sustainability of resources.
Taiwan’s distant water fishing fleets operate in the three major oceans and the fish and fisheries products are mainly for export. Among which,except that the species of tuna frozen at ultra-low temperature is directly sold to Japan,most of the catches are exported directly from foreign bases to Thailand,South Korea,Mainland China,Vietnam,and the United States,or is further re-exported to other market countries. Such pattern of marketing and distributing the fish and fisheries products,especially those transnational trades conducted abroad,has substantially increased the difficulty for fisheries management authorities to monitor the processes of marketing and distribution of fish and fisheries products.
In view of that the fisheries products by means of transnational trade may be bought from multiple different countries,in order to prevent fish trading companies(agents) from selling illegal catches under the name of legitimate Taiwanese or foreign flagged fishing vessels,it is necessary to establish an auditing mechanism to verify the origins and whereabouts of the catches bought by fish trading companies(agents),to ensure that all the catches in transaction are caught by authorized fishing vessels in a legitimate manner,so as to prevent IUU catches from entering into markets.