What is Fisheries Crime? » FishCRIME
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What is Fisheries Crime?

The current depleted state of world fisheries resources renders fish highly valuable. This attracts transnational organised crime syndicates to the fisheries sector. The fisheries sector is vulnerable to organised criminal activity due to its transnational nature and associated law enforcement challenges combined with a porous regulatory regime. Organised criminal organisations thus regard fisheries crime as a low risk and high profit activity.

Fisheries crime refers to a wide range of serious offences along the value chain of the fisheries sector. Fisheries crime is thus not only associated with at-sea fishing activities but also includes various on-land activities such as the planning of fishing activities (financial, insurance, ownership and registration of vessels). It further includes a wide variety of related criminal offences such as: corruptly obtained permits and licences, document fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, kidnapping, human trafficking, and drug trafficking. It is wide-spread, usually transnational, largely organised, and has severe adverse social, economic and environmental impacts.

Fisheries crime is complex with organised criminal networks employing constantly changing business models and modus operandi. This demands cooperative, flexible law enforcement responses via action at appropriate and cost-effective points along the fisheries value chain.

Serious Offences in the Fisheries Value Chain

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Report on fisheries crime along the value chain

During a side event at the High-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 in New York, UNODC launched a conference edition of a report on crimes along the fisheries value chain entitled Stretching the Fishnet: Identifying opportunities to address fisheries crime. The report is an assessment of the crimes occurring at each stage of the value chain, illustrated by completed and ongoing cases that are publicly available as of May 2017. The focus of the report is on crimes that occur on shore such as corruption, fraud and forgery and tax crimes. The Conference edition of the report can be downloaded here. The final report will be launched at the 3rd International Symposium on Fisheries Crime in Vienna on September 25 and 26.