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UN/CEFACT adopts the FLUX Standard for sustainable fisheries management

World fish stocks are being depleted by overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This threatens not only the fish, but also the coastal communities that rely on fisheries for economic survival and a dependable food source. The importance of protecting this resource is recognized in by the international community in Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

An essential step for the effective management of fish resources is the timely acquisition and exchange of information on fishing locations, gear used, species and quantity caught, etc. Until now, fishing vessels mainly used paper-based logbooks to record and exchange this information. To improve this information management, the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) has developed an open and global standard that allows the electronic exchange of fishery data.

The Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX) provides a harmonized message standard that allows Fishery Management Organizations (FMOs) to automatically access the electronic data from fishing vessels, such as vessel and trip identification, fishing operations (daily catch or haul-by-haul) or fishing data (catch area, species and quantity, date and time, and gear used). With this standard, FMOs around the world have for the first time a communication tool to automate the collection and dissemination of the fishery catch data needed for sustainable fishery management and for detecting and combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. In addition, the development of a reliable and up-to-date database on fish catch will improve research on science-based fishery management.

The FLUX Standard was presented at the 27th UN/CEFACT Forum in Geneva, where experts from government, regional and international organizations, regional FMOs, industry, research, and control and enforcement authorities agreed on its importance as a standardized tool to exchange fisheries information in an effective, transparent and efficient manner. A FLUX User Community was also set up to exchange best practices and lessons learned.

The next UN/CEFACT Forum which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26-30 September 2016. Additional information can be found on

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