Originally published by the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy
This paper was also published by the science journal “Nature” on 11 November 2020
The threat of criminal activity in the fisheries sector has concerned the international community for a number of years. In more recent times, organised crime in fisheries as a phenomenon has come to the fore. It is frequently transnational and can manifest in a broad range of criminal offences, the most common being economic crimes, such as money laundering, fraud, forgery, tax and customs evasion, corruption, and human trafficking.
Anecdotal, scientific and case-base evidence of the multitude of manifestations of organised crime in fisheries, its widespread adverse impacts on economies, societies and the environment globally, and its international security implications is now publicly available.
This paper draws on this evidence in presenting the current state of knowledge on organised crime in the fisheries sector in the context of the pursuit of a sustainable ocean economy. With reference to worldwide best practices, the paper presents practical recommendations to address organised crime in fisheries emphasising the need for a shared understanding of the problem and the implementation of intelligence-led, skills-based cooperative law enforcement action at a global level, facilitated by enabling legislative frameworks and increased transparency.
The authors for this paper are: Emma Witbooi, Kamal-Deen Ali, Mas Achmad (lead authors), Gail Hurley, Yunus Husein, Sarika Maharaj, Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood, Inés Arroyo Quiroz and Omar Salas (contributing authors).