How SCPHA tackles illegal fishing on World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day is particularly close to the hearts of Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority’s (SCPHA) 140 team members, with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing being one of the many breaches we look for when enforcing controls on food and animal-related imports entering the UK.

Brenda McRory, Technical Lead, said:

“Overfishing and unethical fishing can seriously damage and destroy marine ecosystems, which inevitably leads to serious issues for local fisheries and the communities that rely on them.”

SCPHA adopts stringent measures to ensure marine caught fishery products are accompanied by valid catch certificates issued by governments managing the vessels and fishing activities. The requirement for importers to pre-notify SCPHA of such goods entering the UK helps its team members get ahead of the paperwork, and when discrepancies are detected, they move swiftly to act.

Brenda described:

“We work closely with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to track, report and combat IUU fishing.

“This can involve seizure or destruction of the offending consignments and building cases for prosecution in court.”

Imports found to be breaching IUU fishing regulations are fortunately few and far between, but SCPHA is always prepared.

For more information about how SCPHA combats IUU fishing, visit

Check out to find out more about World Ocean Day and how to take action.