Most industrial fishing operations act within the law, but some routinely disregard the rules. They do this in a variety of ways: failing to report catch, using illegal gear, fishing without licenses, and even painting new names on vessels while at sea to avoid detection by authorities. This activity cheats coastal communities out of food and income, skews scientific stock assessments, undermines law-abiding fishers, and deceives consumers who trust that the fish they purchase was caught within the law.
Pressure on the world’s fish stocks is at an all-time high. Fishing fleets use modern technology and massive vessels to fish in places that until recently were out of reach because they were too deep, remote, or dangerous to exploit. Allowing illegal fishing to continue could have dire consequences for the health of the ocean, and all who depend on it.
Pew is focused on building a global system to combat illegal fishing by working with governments, fisheries management bodies, enforcement authorities, and the seafood industry to adopt and implement regulations, policies, and tools to improve information sharing, monitor activity, and deter and prosecute illicit operators..
Pew helped Interpol create a network for sharing information among nations fighting illegal fishing—and halted a ship’s infamous career. Read more in the most recent issue of Trust magazine.
Learn about Pew's staff working to combat illegal fishing.
What's the key to combating ivory trade, illegal fishing, and other environmental crimes? Interpol's David Higgins says global monitoring and high-tech tools can help, in Trend magazine.