Photo: Adam Mørk
Prime Minister of Norway
“As a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate and in the capacity as the Prime Minister of Norway I would like to applaud this global initiative to combat transnational organized fisheries crime. This work started with a few dedicated individuals and a handful of countries less than ten years ago. Since then we have seen the rise of a global movement against transnational organized crime in the fishing industry with more and more states supporting the cause.
I believe that this is an example which should encourage all individuals and countries that are working on complex global problems that it is possible to make a change. And change is what we need in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals within 2030.”
Minister of Fisheries, Norway
“I believe that transnational organized fisheries crime is an issue that needs global attention and has to be dealt with through many different entry points. This is the reason why we advocate the use of inter-agency cooperation. In addition to fisheries authorities, we also need the police, tax authorities, customs and other agencies involved in this fight. By doing this we also build resilient and more effective governmental institutions that are able to adapt to counter creative criminals. Norway has supported the FishCRIME symposiums since 2015 and I am happy to see that the number of participants and countries that support this event is growing every year and we expect that this year’s event in Copenhagen will be as fruitful, if not more so, as previous years.”
Minister for Rural Affairs, Sweden
“In 2015, the world community adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. I strongly believe that combatting transnational organized crime in the fishing industry is one of the key elements on which the world community needs to cooperate towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goal 14.”
Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia
“Indonesia’s marine and fisheries resources had been tainted by transnational organized group in the fishing industry for so long. Those groups had massively exploited our fish stock which serves as important resources for Indonesia to improve fishermen’s welfare and support the country’s economy. Transnational organized fisheries crime is a global threat. Addressing this threat requires strong international collaboration and interagency cooperation.
Indonesia has been benefitting from good collaboration with Norway, INTERPOL, and international non-governmental organization in tackling the threat of transnational organized fisheries crime. Our government also have established a Presidential Task Force to Combat Illegal Fishing because we believe that interagency coordination is crucial to eliminate fisheries crime in Indonesia. Indonesia has been a benefactor of FishCRIME Symposiums since 2016 and is committed to continue supporting the global acknowledgement of transnational organized fisheries crime.”
Kristján Þór Júlíusson
Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Iceland
“The fishing industry in the Nordic region is globalized and dependent on competing in a fair global market undistorted by the involvement of transnational criminal groups. Iceland and the Nordic countries are dependent on the sea and its resources and the opportunities they hold for the economy, food security and well-being of our population and we are determined to support a healthy and thriving fishing industry that is based on fair competition and the sustainable use of the ocean.”
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
“To fight complex global problems such as transnational organized fisheries crime I believe that a ‘whole of government’ approach, with seamless international and national cooperation between authorities, is the way forward.”
Minister of Fisheries, Faroe Islands
“The Faroe Islands are, together with other Nordic countries, members of the global family of Large Ocean Nations. Our foremost goal is to protect the oceans from overexploitation and illegal activities, in order to preserve them as our most precious larder of seafood for future generations.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance that our policies and legal frameworks are based upon the sustainable utilisation of all marine resources in harmony with the environment and with full respect for Sustainable Development Goal 14.
A significant step in this direction, is to take collective global action to discourage and avert illegal activities in international fisheries. The FishCRIME symposium is a crucial initiative in this regard.”
Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Republic of Palau
“Transnational fish crime is an assault on our food security, economy, and livelihood. Palau no longer tolerates such behaviour from uncooperative fishing companies. We have taken the first step to close 80% of our EEZ from fishing and are improving our legal framework and capacity to address this crime. This crime can only be addressed by cooperation between fishing countries and Palau is committed to working with willing country partners to stem this crime to ensure sustainable and fair use of our oceans and its fisheries resources. We applaud the actions of the Nordic countries for taking action in the transnational fish crime and we seek to partner with them.”
Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers
“The Nordic countries are not large in population but we encompass a considerable geographic area and the Nordic oceans and seas are large. Many of the Nordic countries are in fact large ocean nations. The Nordic countries are dependent on the sea and its resources and the opportunities it holds for the economy, food and well-being of our population and we are determined to support a healthy and thriving fishing industry that is based on fair competition and the sustainable use of ocean resources. We believe that there is a need for the world community to recognize the existence of transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry and that this activity has a serious effect on the economy, distorts markets, harms the environment and undermines human rights and that all regions of the world need to cooperate.”
Administrator of the UN Development Programme
“With SDG 14, life below water, the international community has committed to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development. Fisheries crimes seriously undermine these efforts. In our work around the world, we see not only the harmful environmental impacts of fisheries crimes, but also the economic and social impacts on countries and whole communities.
Diminishing fish stocks can undermine local and national food security, as well as negatively impact the livelihoods of subsistence, small-scale and artisanal fishers. At the same time, the shadow financial system enables the proceeds of fisheries crimes to be effectively hidden, and deprives countries of much-needed revenues for sustainable development. While more can – and must – be done, there has been progress. At last year’s UN Oceans Conference, 1422 voluntary commitments were made by countries and other stakeholders to protect the oceans and seas, including commitments to more effectively tackle fisheries crimes. International cooperation is essential and UNDP is pleased to be a partner in the 4th International Symposium on Fisheries Crime.”
Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime
“UNODC is pleased to be a partner in this initiative to confront fisheries crime.
Last year, UNODC had the honour of hosting the Third International Symposium on Fisheries Crime at our headquarters in Vienna. Bringing together more than 250 participants from 56 countries, the event was a significant success in increasing awareness and deepening the understanding of the many crimes in the fisheries value chain.
Now we must take these efforts forward.
UNODC is fully engaged in building developing countries’ capacity to prevent and tackle fisheries crime, in line with our mandates as guardians of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
We look forward to continuing our work with Member States, international organizations and civil society to strengthen law enforcement responses, stop organized crime networks and protect the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally.”
Secretary General of INTERPOL
“For the past five years INTERPOL has been committed to addressing various types of crimes related to the fisheries sector. These illicit activities can take place at different stages of the supply chain and can include offences such as illegal fishing, fraud, tax evasion, handling of stolen goods, corruption, money laundering, document falsification, the use of fishing vessels to traffic drugs and weapons, and forced labour.
While progress has been achieved in raising awareness, further global and concerted efforts are required to effectively combat these crimes which involve often transnational organized criminal networks.
As the world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL remains fully committed to combating all types of transnational crime, including in the fisheries sector, by promoting international police cooperation and ensuring that our 192 member countries have access to INTERPOL’s global tools and services.”