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.