Secrecy, or the ability to keep ones identity hidden behind a corporate veil, is a key facilitator of fisheries crime, including tax crime and other ancillary crimes in the fisheries sector. Secrecy means that investigators “don’t know what they don’t know” and is a fundamental challenge to fisheries crime law enforcement. The focus of this report is the jurisdictions that facilitate secrecy in fisheries, the flags of convenience, and particularly those that are contracted out to private companies, the so-called private flags, and the impact flags of convenience and secrecy has on effective fisheries crime law enforcement.
The report is the result of the joint effort of the INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group (FCWG) and the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group (NA-FIG), with the input and support of the Secretariats at INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It was made possible with the financial support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Nordic Council of Ministers.