October 19th, 2018

On October 17th, at the invitation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sea Shepherd Legal presented at the FishCRIME 2018 symposium. The purpose of the symposium was to “advance efforts towards high level political commitment to cooperatively addressing transnational organised fisheries crime.”

What exactly is fisheries crime? According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime . . .

"Fisheries crime is an ill-defined legal concept referring to a range of illegal activities in the fisheries sector. These activities - frequently transnational and organized in nature - include illegal fishing, document fraud, drug trafficking, and money laundering. Criminal activities in the fisheries sector are often regarded as synonymous with illegal fishing, which many States do not view or prosecute as criminal offences, but rather as a fisheries management concern, attracting low and usually administrative penalties. Organized criminal organizations thus engage in fisheries crime with relative impunity due both to low risk and high profits and uncoordinated, ineffective domestic and cross-border law enforcement efforts"

Why was Sea Shepherd Legal invited to present at FishCRIME?

Sea Shepherd Legal has expertise in fighting fisheries crime in multiple jurisdictions. Sample related projects have included conducting IUU fishing deterrence workshops and submitting comprehensive briefs to facilitate swift action against perpetrators.

At FishCrime 2018, we took the opportunity to showcase Sea Shepherd Global’s extraordinary successes to combat illegal fishing in Africa, and highlighted several key tools that authorities can utilize to effectively deter illicit activities, including:

  • Shutting down the processes that enable IUU fishing;
  • Enhancing surveillance and patrols;
  • Bolstering prosecution tactics; and
  • Adopting effective laws.

Attended by ministry officials from multiple nations, as well as representatives from Interpol's Project Scale, members of the press, and fellow NGOs, a lively dialogue followed the comprehensive presentation.

FishCRIME 2018 was co-hosted by Norway and the Nordic Council of Ministries, and supported by UNODC, INTERPOL, UNDP, the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group, and PescaDOLUS. Sea Shepherd Legal sincerely thanks the UNDP Secretariat for the invitation to participate in this meaningful event.

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