Fishing is one of the major industries around the world, employing hundreds of thousands, and as a key source of protein for over 3 billion people; even a small level of IUU fishing can generate billions of dollars in illicit profits.
With an estimated 90% of the world’s fisheries classified as fully exploited or overexploited, legal and sustainable fishing operations are critical to maintain the integrity of global fishery resources.
It is estimated that illegal and unreported fishing represents approximately 14 to 33 percent of the global marine capture value , equating to an estimated US$15.5 billion to US$36.4 billion annually, making IUU Fishing one of the top 10 crimes by proceeds across the globe, and a significant contributor to “Green” or “Environmental Crimes.”
Illegal Fishing represents one of the largest markets open to and exploited by organised criminal groups, but beyond overfishing and the environmental challenges this brings, other serious crimes are also involved, including drugs and human trafficking, corruption and tax evasion, particularly effecting developing Countries. its time Illegal fishing was considered as a major financial crime issue as well as an environmental one. For more read the Intelligence Briefing on IUU Fishing by FCN.
With fish and other aquatic animals an important part of many peoples diet, it’s estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, that we catch approximately 171 million metric tons (likely more than 2 trillion fish) annually (2016) worth an estimated USD362 billion.
Governments, Trade Associations and NGO’s are meeting to talk trade and conservation with concerns around Elephant Ivory, Rhino Horn and the fate of the Mako Shark being high on the agenda at a CITES Wildlife Conference in Geneva. In all more than 50 proposals have been tabled for discussion, which include proposals submitted on not only Elephants, Rhino’s and Sharks but also on Pangolin’s, Big Cats and Giraffes.
As concern for the future of the wildlife on our planet increases, the international body tasked with regulating trade in endangered species is once again gathered for its 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Geneva being held between the 17-28th August, 2019. Originally slated for May 2019 in Sri Lanka, it was switched after the Easter terrorist attacks in March that killed more than 250.