The value of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is estimated at about NOK 190 billion annually. Monday, Ministers of Fisheries from all over the world gather in Oslo on a summit on illegal fishing to agree on how this can be curbed.
Norway has actively participated in efforts to establish a binding international agreement in the fight against illegal, unregistered and unreported fishing. Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg (Frp), and State Secretary, Tone Skogen (H), in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are hosting a meeting. Ministers of Fisheries from more than 50 countries attend the meeting in Oslo on Monay
– Illegal fishing is a threat to fish stocks and the environment. Through stronger international cooperation, we can succeed in tackling the problem, says Sandberg to NTB.
Agreement in place
Illegal fishing is a comprehensive cross-border challenge. The United Nations Organization for Nutrition and Agriculture (FAO) has estimated the value of illegal catches to over NOK 190 billion a year, or about 15 percent of world catches.
Monday’s meeting is the first after a port state control agreement came into force a year ago. The agreement, negotiated by the FAO, will hinder and prevent illegal fishing and currently have 47 parties involved, including those is the EU.
– I am very pleased that we have established a binding global agreement. It contributes, inter alia, to closing ports for blacklisted vessels, Sandberg states.
In the press there is illegal fishing combined with international crime which has received the most attention in recent years. According to Norad, such fishing often cahoots with organized criminal networks, combined with human trafficking and slavery.
It is also found connections to corruption, capital flight and drug trafficking in connection with illegal fishing.
Fish caught illegally are often transported far from the place where they are fished and end up in ports where local authorities have no knowledge of the management of the fish. Therefore, they have no ability to control where and how it is caught.
Norway is counted among the countries that has come furthest in combating fisheries crimes. In 2013, Norad entered into a partnership with Interpol to strengthen efforts to combat illegal fishing.
Facts about illegal fishing
The value of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing is estimated at about NOK 190 billion annually, or 15 percent of the world’s total catches.
It is often distinguished between different types of illegal fishing:
National small-scale fisheries operating without file regulations
National fishing fleet that operates beyond the licenses granted
Foreign fishing fleets that operate without a license from the proper authorities.Can be part of organized international crime
Illegal fishing often leads to huge losses for developing countries and affect food security and livelihoods of coastal communities.