2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest

UPDATE: MARCH 10, 2016 at the 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop in Auckland, New Zealand: The Indian Ocean Commission and Peru’s Ministerio de la Producción win 2nd Stop IUU Award contest! See the announcement, photos and video in the GFETW News Blog or on the International MCS Network website.

Contest Logo

The Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is one way that the International MCS Network is helping to fight against illegal fishing by recognizing solutions used in both small and large-scale fisheries to deter illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The competition opened in March 2015 and closed for entries in November 2015. Winners will be announced at the Network’s 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (5th GFETW) in Auckland, New Zealand March 7-11, 2016, where they will also deliver presentations on their innovative programs and ideas.


The 2nd Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is supported by the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and the International MCS Network.

The flyer for the second contest, which also describes the session dedicated to announcement of winners at the Network’s 4th GFETW in San José, Costa Rica in February 2014, is available here.

The flyer is also available in Spanish (español) and in French (français), although entries must be submitted in English.

The entry form is available here and can also be provided upon request as a Word document.

In the first competition, a wide range of entries was received from around the world from students, intergovernmental organizations, RFMOs, information technology experts and entrepreneurs. Some examples of entries were: fishery trade data analysis for incorporation into MCS; DNA analysis translating to traceability; co-management in a small-scale fishery; digital labels for fish; SMS networks to stop dynamite fishing; data mining looking for patterns; electronic fishing permits; and software to identify choke points for IUU vessels in the ocean and at ports. Recurring themes were teamwork, cooperation, community-based participation and co-management. Entries were judged on innovation, success, feasibility and cost.

Additional information on the outcome of the inaugural Stop IUU Fishing Award contest is available here.

About the Stop IUU Fishing Award Contest

Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) is a discipline where innovation and ingenuity are highly valued. Finding ways to outsmart the illegal actors is crucial. Those who break the rules are endlessly adept at finding ways around the law, and authorities are challenged to stay ahead of the lawbreakers. Many good ideas to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are being put into action, but often the MCS community and those who want to encourage compliance simply are not aware of some of the newest and most effective approaches for detecting illegal activities successfully.

In 2011, at the Committee on Fisheries meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) it was recognized that, “development and implementation of appropriate tools and approaches remain vital.” The Stop IUU Fishing Award seeks to encourage and recognize development of appropriate MCS tools that will help in the global fight against IUU fishing.

Submissions related to any monitoring, control and surveillance practice for fisheries-related activities making, or with the potential to make a substantial contribution to combat IUU fishing will be accepted for the contest. This includes: a technology, tool, method, process, or practice that provides and effective response in addressing IUU fishing and which demonstrates innovation, success and tangible impact.

In particular the contest aims to:

  • Identify and learn how selected MCS practices can strengthen successful ways to fight IUU fishing globally
  • Promote new venue for knowledge exchange and provide winners with visibility and support to expand their work
  • Explore potential for replication of selected MCS practices across fishing communities/regions/nations, facilitating the implementation of pilot projects


Entries will be evaluated by an international panel of judges composed of leading experts from the MCS field and judged based on the following selection criteria:

  • Success: tangible impact in reducing IUU fishing
  • Innovation: creative solutions to combating IUU activities
  • Feasibility and cost: practical and able to be replicated and/or adapted by others. Assessing the costs, taking into account location and ultimate benefits

About the Stop IUU Fishing Award Logo


On the left side, the logo features an adult and a juvenile fish in a circle, representing how nature protects itself. On the right side is a fishing net, which is not an inherently negative symbol but here represents those in the community who do not respect the marine environment, which is what motivates the work of the International MCS Network, as represented by the green squiggle in the middle of the logo.

Please see flyer embedded above for further details about the contest or download as a PDF in English, Spanish or French. Submissions in English are strongly encouraged but will be accepted in Spanish and French as well.