WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $5 million in a cooperative agreement for the International Labour Organization focused on strengthening decent working conditions in Peru and Ecuador by combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in coastal communities.
Illegal fishing allows bad actors to control local resources and threatens the environmental and economic well-being of these countries’ coastal communities. Illegal fishing operations yield an estimated 26 million tons of fish per year – valued at approximately $23 billion – roughly equal to 15 percent of world fisheries’ annual production.
Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the ILO project will address illegal fishing and general labor violations in the fishing sector. Through this project, the organization will work with local governments, including labor inspectorates and port authorities, artisanal fishers’ unions and national worker federations, universities and the private sector. It will also target vulnerable populations working in the fishing sector – including artisanal fishers – women and those in the Afro-descendant communities working in fish processing and canning plants.
The International Labour Organization, the United Nations’ only tripartite agency, brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.