In broad terms, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing refers to fishing activities that are in violation of regulation, misreported, or conducted in unregulated zones.
The total value of unreported fishing losses globally have been estimated at between $10 and $23.5 billion dollars annually, which amounts to between 11 and 26 million metric tons. Even beyond economic impact, the ramifications of IUU fishing are formidable: as a global threat to ocean ecosystems, sustainable fisheries, coastal communities, and food security, the practice undermines domestic and international conservation, management, and regulation efforts. Compounding these more conspicuous consequences, illegal fishing has also been implicated in slavery, piracy, and human and drug trafficking. As efforts to combat IUU fishing increasingly require cross-border partnerships, global remote sensing capabilities have emerged as an effective means of collecting frequent data about the states of the oceans and coasts. For example, the Indonesian government signed a memorandum of understanding with Spire to combat illegal fishing.