Interpol to Combat Illegal Fishing

Project Scale is an INTERPOL initiative to detect, suppress and combat fisheries crime. World fish stocks are being rapidly depleted, and valuable species are nearing extinction. Because fish are a valuable commodity, the last decade has seen an escalation of transnational and organized criminal networks engaged in fisheries crime.

Interpol to combat illegal fishing

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing costs the global economy up to 23 trillion dollars a year. Illegal fishermen exploit the lack of supervision and lack of resources to ensure fishery legislations are being upheld, particularly in developing countries. The new project SCALE is aimed to help fight illegal fisheries.

“Project SCALE is an important component of a proposed global system to stop fisheries crime,” said Joshua Reichert, executive vice president at Pew who leads the organization’s environmental work.

“Illegal fishing threatens the interests of legitimate fishermen worldwide and undermines the ability of the global community to properly manage fisheries in ways that will ensure a healthy future for this vitally important resource.”

Pirates who hold their catches hidden also take use of money laundering, tax evasion and tax fraud, and thus it is a vicious criminal circle that illegal fishing stuck in, in several parts of the world.

Interpol os, with its global reach and background in environmental crime, ideally placed to help bring illegal fishermen to court.

“Project SCALE is a natural extension of INTERPOL’s efforts to safeguard species and habitat through effective enforcement,” said David Higgins, manager of INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme.

“With the Interpol network capacity and intelligence-led enforcement, we will contribute to a more focused and coordinated global effort to combat transnational and organized illegal fishing”, said Higgins.

SCALE will work on increasing awareness of illegal fishing crime and its consequences, cooperation across borders, increased monitoring etc.

Source: Maritime Denmark

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