USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership

Speeches Shim

The USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) combats illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; strengthens fisheries management; and engages the private sector to promote a sustainable and transparent seafood supply chain in the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific region’s marine ecosystems provide food and income to more than 200 million people. However, unsustainable fishing practices threaten the region’s biodiversity, food security, and livelihoods. USAID Oceans is a collaboration among the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center; the Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security; and a wide range of public and private sector partners at regional, national, and local levels. The Partnership works to improve fisheries management through integrated electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) systems that curb IUU fishing and seafood fraud and improve human welfare and gender equity. These systems ensure fisheries resources are sustainable, legally caught, and properly labeled, allowing consumers to knowingly purchase legal seafood products, and reward sustainable business practices.  


Global annual losses from IUU fishing and seafood fraud are estimated at up to $23 billion. To combat IUU fishing and promote sustainable practices, USAID Oceans operates through four strategic approaches:

  1. Designing and implementing eCDT systems to ensure that traceability solutions align with national requirements and industry bottom lines.
  2. Using an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and developing Sustainable Fisheries Management Plans that advance marine biodiversity conservation and fisheries management capacity and promote eCDT systems for data-driven fisheries management.
  3. Incorporating Human Welfare and Gender Equity considerations throughout all program strategies and activities to create more gender equitable supply chains that empower women and men.
  4. Developing and leveraging Public-Private Partnerships at global, regional, and local levels to support cross-cutting program objectives.


Since USAID Oceans began in May 2015, the program has achieved national, regional, and international impact in designing and implementing eCDT technologies, strengthening human and institutional capacity to conserve marine biodiversity through sustainable fisheries management plans, and enhancing public-private partnerships to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud. Over the course of five years, USAID Oceans has:

  • Developed and implemented sustainable fisheries management plans, protecting marine habitats totaling an area over 1.5 times the size of the United States.
  • Supported the development of four innovative eCDT technologies that tracked and verified the legality and sustainability of over four million pounds of tuna—approximately $20 million of U.S. tuna imports—within the seafood supply chain.
  • Supported the development of five legal instruments to promote gender equity and women’s empowerment in fisheries development.
  • Leveraged over $4 million by engaging with public and private sector partners, including U.S.-based seafood suppliers such as Anova Food, LLC. and Bumble Bee Seafood.
  • Trained more than 1,800 women and men from governmental and non-governmental stakeholder groups throughout Southeast Asia to use eCDT and EAFM tools in support of project objectives.


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