Our Approach

Fisheries crime refers to a wide range of serious offences along the value chain of the marine fisheries sector.

What is the problem?

Fish and fishery products are the most traded food commodity globally. This is particularly so for developing nations where fish trade represents a significant source of foreign currency earnings. The sector also plays an important role as a generator of household income and employment.

Fish provides a vital source of food and nutritional security. But global fish stocks are severely over-fished and the health of the world’s oceans is under threat. Illegal fishing is one of the main contributors to overfishing.

Yet despite significant effort worldwide to stem illegal fishing it has continued unabated. An estimated USD 30 billion is lost to illegal fishing annually, with the highest rates in West African waters. Tackling illegal fishing is thus an increasingly important policy objective, especially for African coastal states.

An added layer of serious criminal activity in the fisheries sector associated with illegal has resulted in a complex international problem known as ‘fisheries crime’, the causes, patterns and implications of which require urgent attention.

The knowledge and expertise required to engage with these questions extends well beyond the traditional realm of fisheries management into areas as diverse as economic crime, human rights, sociology, transnational organised crime, criminal law, public international law, policing and security.

What is fisheries crime?

Fisheries crime refers to a wide range of serious offences along the value chain of the marine fisheries sector. This includes illegal fishing & associated criminal offences such as: corruption, document fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, human trafficking, and drug trafficking. It is frequently transnational and organised and has severe adverse social, economic and environmental impacts.

What is PescaDOLUS's role?

PescaDOLUS is a platform for bringing together leading international experts from different disciplinary backgrounds to exchange ideas, identify research questions and seek innovative inter-disciplinary solutions to fisheries crime. PescaDOLUS promotes fisheries crime research at relevant national, regional and international fora towards informing law and policy reform in this sphere.