What Is At Stake?


Marine ecologists are predicting Bluefin could be extinct by 2048 if action is not taken to conserve the species.

Fish and fishery products are the most traded food commodity globally. This is particularly so for developing nations where fish trade represents a significant source of foreign currency earnings. The sector also plays an important role as a generator of household income and employment. Fish provides a vital source of food and nutritional security.

What Is The Problem?

Globally fish stocks are severely over-fished. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 85% of such stocks worldwide are now fully exploited. Illegal fishing is one of the main contributors to overfishing, particularly in developing states. Yet despite significant effort worldwide to stem illegal fishing it has continued unabated. It is estimated that annually between USD 11 and 30 billion is lost to illegal fishing, with the highest rates in West African waters. Tackling illegal fishing is thus an increasingly important policy objective, especially for African coastal states.

What Is The Solution?

Traditional legal approaches to curbing illegal fishing have met with limited success. An alternative emerging perspective that is gaining rapid traction is to approach ‘illegal fishing’ as a form of transnational criminal activity, ie ‘fisheries crime’, and to investigate the policing, legal and policy implications of using transnational criminal law and procedure to strengthen fisheries law enforcement.

Where Does PescaDOLUS Fit In?

Established in 2013, PescaDOLUS is an independent research and capacity building network on fisheries crime. It provides a platform and a hub for leading international experts working towards understanding and finding inter-disciplinary solutions to fisheries crime, including via effective fisheries law enforcement.