Copenhagen Declaration

18 Countries, and counting...

Ministers’ Declaration on Transnational Organised Crime in the Global Fishing Industry

A Ministers’ Declaration on Transnational Organised Crime in the Global Fishing Industry was adopted by nine Ministers from Large Ocean Nations from four continents on 15 October 2018 at UN City, Copenhagen.

The Declaration continues to garner increasing support globally and currently stands at the following 18 countries:

We, the Ministers of Benin, Chile, Faroe Islands, Ghana, Greenland, Indonesia, Kiribati, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste;1

Encourages other Ministers to support this non-legally binding declaration.

Notes the recommendations and the outcome of the 2nd International Symposium on Fisheries Crime held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia 10–11 October 2016 which was published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the occasion of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice during its twenty-sixth session in Vienna 22–26 May 2017.2

Recognize that our countries are dependent on the sea and its resources and the opportunities it holds for the economy, food and well-being of our population and we are determined to support a healthy and thriving fishing industry that is based on fair competition and the sustainable use of the ocean.

Are committed to work towards the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals particularly in relation to Goal 14 on “Life Below Water” and Goal 16 on “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.”

Are convinced that there is a need for the world community to recognize the existence of transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry and that this activity has a serious effect on the economy, distorts markets, harms the environment and undermines human rights.

Recognize that this transnational activity includes crimes committed through the whole fisheries supply and value chain which includes illegal fishing, corruption, tax and customs fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, document fraud and human trafficking.

Recognize further the inter-continental flow of illegal fish products, illicit money and human trafficking victims in transnational organized crime cases in the global fishing industry and that all regions of the world need to cooperate when investigating such acts

Are convinced that inter-agency cooperation between relevant governmental agencies is essential at a national, regional and international level in order to prevent, combat and eradicate transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry,

Are also convinced that there is a need for international cooperation and that developing countries are particularly affected.

Recognize the particular vulnerability of small-island developing states and other Large Ocean Nations of the impact of transnational organized crime in the global fishing industry.

Are also convinced the need for continuous support on the highest level and the necessity for awareness raising on these issues through events such as theInternational FishCrime Symposium.

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