||The opportunities for operators to increase their revenue when illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing catches are converted to currency through the market encourage the persistence and growth of this activity. It is often the same market that is targeted for the legal trade of fish. Thus, paradoxically, the market demand creates and incites it, at least from an economic point of view. To deter IUU fishing activities, some fish and fishery products importing countries have started to enact or implement additional regulatory measures, the goal of which is to tackle the problem from a new trade-related perspective. This contribution provides an analysis of various aspects of the market state competence. Within the framework of the European Union (rights and markets) the study analyses the emergence of regional trade-related measures and explore how they are linked to the international trade law regime especially the World Trade Organization rules. Finally, the paper draws implications for the market state measures and considers their limits and potential in combatting IUU fishing. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.