We are happy to announce that the Blue Justice secretariat recently received formal notification of Ecuador joining the Copenhagen Declaration.
Support for the 2018 Ministers’ Declaration on Transnational Organised Crime in the Global Fishing Industry – the Copenhagen Declaration – is on the rise globally. The Norwegian government, via its Blue Justice Initiative, supports capacity building towards operationalizing the Declaration through various focused projects.
Ecuador’s support of the Declaration brings the total number of signatory countries to 36. This confirms increased acknowledgement globally of organized crime in the fisheries sector as a serious threat to sustainable ocean economies, and showcases the commitment at national, regional and international levels to cooperative means to tackle the problem.
In his speech at the high level opening of the Blue Justice Conference 2020, the Ecuadorian Minister of Production, Foreign Trade and Fisheries, Iván Ontaneda Berrú, made this point strikingly clear:
“International cooperation is essential to achieve our objectives and I am pleased to know that Ecuador is not alone in this fight”.Iván Ontaneda Berrú
Ecuador’s accession marks the increased focus on addressing organized crime in the Latin American region, where signatories now include a total of 10 countries: Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay. In his speech, the Ecuadorian Minister highlighted the various social, economic, and environmental impacts caused by fisheries crime in the region and underscored its threat to food security in particular:
“They affect the economy, they distort markets, damage the environment, undermine human rights, and endanger the development of fishing, a noble activity, crucial for food security on which hundreds of thousands of people around the world depend on”.
The Minister went on to underscore the need to address fisheries crime as part of harmonizing ocean governance more broadly, including securing the responsible management of resources for current and future generations. To this end, he applauded the efforts of the Blue Justice Initiative and warmly welcomed more consolidated cooperation, coordinated regional action and timely information sharing.
We warmly welcome Ecuador to the Blue Justice family.