FishCRIME 2018

Everything you need to know about the 2018 Fisheries Crime Symposium

Photo: Adam Mørk

FishCRIME 2018

FishCRIME 2018 was successfully held 15-16 October 2018 at UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark. The Symposium was attended by over 250 participants from across the globe, generating robust discussion on cooperative action required to address transnational organised fisheries crime.


A Ministers’ Declaration on Transnational Organised Crime in the Global Fishing Industry was adopted by nine Ministers from four continents at the Symposium: Namibia, Kiribati, Indonesia, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Palau, Faroe Islands and Norway (pictured below from left to right) as well as the Solomon Islands. Further Ministers are encouraged to join in support of this non-legally binding declaration.


Electronic versions of the Agenda, Handbook and Presentations from FishCRIME 2018 can be downloaded below:

Download Agenda
Download Handbook
Download Presentations

Large Ocean Nations Forum on Transnational organised Fisheries Crime

The Large Ocean Nations Forum on Transnational Organised Fisheries Crime was launched at the Symposium by Ministers from the Faroe Islands, Kiribati and Palau and representatives from Norway and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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An educational video by PescaDOLUS on Large Ocean Nations underscoring the importance of joint action in a global context towards addressing transnational organised fisheries crime was released at the LON Forum.

Watch Video

Introducing FishCRIME

FishCRIME 2018 is the fourth event in a series of international fisheries crime symposiums initiated in 2015.

The first FishCRIME Symposium was hosted by the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries  in South Africa in 2015. This Symposium was the first step towards initiating a global dialogue amongst diverse experts, academics, governments and international agencies on the topic of fisheries crime. The momentum of this conversation continued at FishCRIME 2016 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, hosted by the Indonesian Government with a focus on addressing fisheries crime throughout the value chain. During this meeting a joint recommendation was adopted by the symposium. Hosted by UNODC, FishCRIME 2017, drew together high-level participants and international experts to highlight and advance commitment towards tackling the transnational and inter-continental nature of fisheries crime. The fourth FishCRIME Symposium will be held in 2018 at the UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark, and will be co-hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Nordic Council of Ministers with support by UNODC, INTERPOL, UNDP, the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group and PescaDOLUS. FishCRIME 2018 will advance efforts towards high level political commitment to cooperatively addressing transnational organised fisheries crime.

The FishCRIME symposiums have become an annual gathering point for international experts, high level government representatives, relevant international governmental organisations and other stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge around cooperative efforts to address transnational organised fisheries crime.

You can download the outcomes documents from the first two symposiums below:

Download 2016
Download 2015

Chasing Red Herrings

Flags of Convenience, Secrecy and the Impact on Fisheries Crime Law Enforcement

What are the impacts of flags of convenience and secrecy to the global effort to curb fisheries crime? In monetary terms, crimes in the fisheries sector – fisheries crime – are vastly profitable. A conservative estimate is that as much as USD 23.5 billion is lost to illegal and unregulated fishing each year. Still, the actual costs of fisheries crime to society, including tax crime and other ancillary crimes in the fisheries sector, far exceed the value of lost resources. Vulnerable coastal states lose out on revenue, employment opportunities and infrastructure development, and suffer the consequences of food insecurity, instability and loss of biodiversity.

This report is a joint effort between the INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group (FCWG) and the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group (NA-FIG). It is a record of the conclusions and findings of a multi-disciplinary group of auditors, investigators and analysts who have come together at regular intervals over the last four years to analyse and discuss their experience and knowledge about flags of convenience and secrecy and their impacts on fisheries crime law enforcement.

You can download the report below or from the Nordic Council of Ministers’ website:

Download Report

Symposium Information

Side Events of FishCRIME

The full list of all side-events can be viewed on the Agenda.

  1. Large Ocean Nations Forum on Transnational Organised Fisheries Crime: In cooperation with the Faroe Islands, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade Industry and Fisheries and the Nordic Council of Ministers PescaDOLUS will host a Large Ocean Nations (LONs) workshop on 15 October at 9am as part of the 2018 FishCRIME symposium at the UN City, Copenhagen. The workshop will highlight challenges of LONs around fisheries crime and will launch a LONs Forum on Transnational Organised Fisheries Crime. In addition to invited speakers and experts, the workshop is open to all symposium participants. A draft agenda will be posted here in the upcoming days. Please note that registration for the Symposium will begin at 8 am and run concurrently throughout the morning enabling registrants to also attend the LON forum.
  1. LE Femmes Network seminar: The first seminar and official launch of the newly formed LE Femmes Network will take place at 9 am on 17 October at UN City, Copenhagen. The Network was established to enhance the role of women in fisheries crime law enforcement.
  1. UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme: The UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme is ideally placed to support the strengthening of international supply chain security by building national border administrations’ capacities to tackle threats related to sea, land and air cargo. Building on its network of more than 80 Port Control and Air Cargo Control Units, covering 50 countries around the globe, the Programme has since 2017 been delivering specialized training on fisheries crime to selected Port Control Units and relevant agencies to target fisheries crime in the containerised trade supply chain. On Tuesday 16 October 12:30-13:15 the Container Control Programme will hold a side-event in room 0.1.11 on the topic ‘Targeting fisheries crime in the containerised trade supply chain.

The Hosts

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of UNDP’s work. As the lead UN development agency, UNDP is uniquely placed to help implement the Goals through our work in some 170 countries and territories. UNDP provides support to governments to integrate the SDGs into their national development plans and policies. UNDP’s governance work is a key part of this development agenda. We help to strengthen representative governance and the rule of law, and make politics and institutions inclusive and accountable.

UNDP’s goal is to strengthen capacities and provide an enabling environment for access to opportunities, focusing on the most vulnerable and excluded population groups – in ways that are sustainable from economic, social and environmental standpoints. To achieve this goal, UNDP works with countries to build their capacity to integrate environmental considerations into development plans and strategies, to manage and sustainably use natural resources; ensure that natural wealth is used to promote economic recovery and livelihoods, and effectively target policies to reduce poverty and provide social protection for those in need.

UN City Copenhagen

UN City Copenhagen comprises two campuses. Campus 1 on Marmormolen opened in July 2013 and today houses 11 UN organizations with 1,500 staff members representing more than 100 nationalities. Campus 2, located in the container port in the Northern Harbor of Copenhagen, constitutes UNICEF’s state-of-the-art high bay warehouse. With a total storage capacity of 36,000 pallets, it is the largest humanitarian warehouse in the world.

Photo: Adam Mørk

Photo: Adam Mørk

Secretary General of the Nordic Council – Fisheries Crime Symposium 2017

Your Excellency Mr. Yuri Fedotov, executive director of UNODC, honorable ministers, ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen it is a pleasure…

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 and that all regions of the world need to cooperate.

The Nordic 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 ocean resources.

The Nordic Council of Ministers is one of the longest running regional political cooperations in the world, comprising the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as Aland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. The Nordic countries are not large in population but we encompass a considerable geographic area and the Nordic oceans and seas are large. Many of the Nordic countries are in fact large ocean states.

The Nordic countries individually are small but together we are the 11 largest economy in the world. The fishing industry and blue economy is a considerable part of the Nordic economies. It is therefore essential that the industry is not subject to conditions that negatively impact their competitiveness. Transnational organized crime in the fishing industry is precisely such a negative condition.

The fishing industry in the Nordic countries is very much globalized and the Nordic challenges are also part of the global challenges and international cooperation between continents and regions are essential. The Nordic Council of Ministers is committed to working towards the global sustainable development goals, including taking leadership regarding SDG14. We recognize that without healthy oceans our economies and our well being will suffer.

The Nordic Council of Minister recognizes the inter-continental flow of illegal fish products, illicit money and human trafficking victims in transnational organized fisheries crime, and that all regions of the world need to cooperate when investigating such acts.

We are convinced that there is a need for north-south cooperation and we know that developing countries are particularly affected by transnational organized fisheries crime of all kind.

We furthermore encourage inter-agency cooperation between relevant governmental agencies at a national, regional and international level in order to prevent, combat and eradicate transnational organized fisheries crime.

The Nordic Council of Ministers supports Nordic cooperation, in accordance with national and international law, and EU-law when applicable, against the challenges posed by transnational organized fisheries crime and will seek cooperation with other regions of the world in order to find effective solutions to these challenges

Specifically the Nordic Council of Ministers currently supports two projects against fisheries crime on intelligence sharing and research and my message is that the Nordic region is ready to cooperate.

These two projects are:

  1. North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group – which is a cooperation between tax, customs and fisheries authorities in the North Atlantic Region. The goal of this group is to share information and work together on a strategic and operational level. The secretariat of the group is in the tax administration in Norway.
  2. PescaDolus has a project that brings together researchers from the Nordic countries and beyond to raise awareness of this issue as a new discipline. There is not much research on transnational organized crime in the fishing industry. We need a cross sectoral research community to look into all facets of this issue.

The Nordic Council of Ministers very much appreciates the UNODC for hosting this event, it is encouraged by the large participation and especially pleased to note the great high level attendance at the symposium.