The Blue Justice Initiative (BJI) supports the two Ministerial Declarations on Transnational Organized Crime in the Global Fishing Industry.
On 28 June 2017, the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted the first Declaration in the town of Ålesund (the Ålesund Declaration). The international declaration followed soon thereafter, when nine countries adopted the Copenhagen Declaration at UN City in Copenhagen on 15 October 2018. The Copenhagen Declaration is global and open for all countries to support; it is encouraging to see that a growing number of countries from all parts of the world are increasingly supporting the Declaration. Both Declarations recognize the intercontinental flow of illegal fish products, illicit money and human trafficking victims as examples of transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry. The Declarations emphasize the need for all regions of the world to cooperate when investigating these criminal offences.
The Blue Justice Initiative responds to the need to cooperate and build capacity to address transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry. The goal of the BJI is to identify measures required to address transnational organized fisheries crime. Criminals seek out the most vulnerable regions of the world in which to conduct their activities, typically states with limited resources to prevent and combat organized crime. An important element of the BJI is therefore to support developing countries implement measures to deter and counter transnational organized fisheries crime.
The Blue Justice Theory of Change
Transnational organized fisheries crime is a global problem that requires multifaceted, knowledge-based solutions. As interdependent members of the global community, there is a need to work cooperatively to gain knowledge of the dynamics of crime, criminals, crime prevention and law enforcement – and to identify, evaluate and implement the best measures to address the underlying problems associated with transnational organized fisheries crime.
The BJI Theory of Change is that this goal is best achieved through close dialogue with – and invested involvement by – the affected countries in seeking solutions. The aim of the BJI is to attain an integrated understanding of the problems in this field, including their complexity and diversity, and the multifaceted solutions needed to address them at all levels, that is, nationally, regionally and internationally.
The BJI is also about tangible change. The global community has set ambitious targets in the Agenda for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger, protect life below water, promote decent work for all and promote peace, justice and strong institutions. Transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry undermine the SDGs, and the aim of Blue Justice Initiative is to operationalize the tools needed to address this problem.
Blue Justice Secretariat
At the time of the adoption of the Copenhagen Declaration in 2018, the Ministers present agreed to establish a Secretariat to maintain and support the Declaration that would be based at the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.