Punitive measures taken against vessels listed on RFMO IUU vessel lists often have very direct effects on the individuals associated with those vessels, such as the owner or operator. With developments such as cross-listing mechanisms and cross-references in international agreements, the number of actors that are encouraged or obliged to take measures against listed vessels now extends to a much wider group, well beyond just the Members of the listing RFMO. The impacts of these punitive measures on such individuals are accordingly very significant. Despite this, however, these listing procedures contain relatively limited due process features. This article considers whether this could contribute to diminishing the perceived legitimacy of IUU listings and generate a risk of reluctance by some actors within the international community to impose punitive measures on listed vessels.
Movement towards enhanced due process in decision-making processes appears to be emerging within many international organizations in recognition of the fact that increasingly, individuals are directly affected by decisions of international organizations. Examining such developments in other fora, this article considers possible adjustments to listing procedures, which might assist in safeguarding the legitimacy and effectiveness of IUU vessel lists. IUU lists play a significant role in international efforts to combat IUU fishing, and upholding their effectiveness is accordingly of critical importance.