PescaDOLUS held its first dedicated fisheries crime research workshop (FishSEARCH) in Vienna on Wednesday 27th September 2017 at the Vienna International Centre. The workshop was generously funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, the UNODC and the North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group (NA-FIG).
The workshop brought together 23 experts, researchers and academics from various disciplines internationally to discuss and share research ideas around the topic of fisheries crime. Of the 23, eight were from Nordic countries, namely: Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark as well as from the Nordic Marine Think Tank and three from African countries, namely, South Africa; Kenya and Senegal. Also present were Indonesia and Australia. Additionally, participants from the UNODC, the ILO, the OECD and the African Progress Panel contributed, along with the US Labour Department. Visa challenges unfortunately prevented the attendance of invited experts from Nigeria, Somaliland and Ghana. Disciplines represented included criminology, economics, criminal law, international law and human rights.
During the workshop all participants shared research ideas, questions and insights around the multifaceted topic of fisheries crime guided by the workshop facilitators. Themes emerging from the ‘Chasing Red Herrings: Secrecy Report’, a NA-FIG/INTERPOL collaboration with the support of Norad and the Nordic Council of Ministers, which was launched at the Symposium, provided the framework for discussion at the workshop.
The PescaDOLUS fisheries crime educational video, which was introduced at the Syposium reception, informed the content of what is understood as falling within the ambit of this area of research.
The workshop was opened by Ms Siphokazi Ndudane of the South African Department of Fisheries followed by comment by Ms Eve de Coning, author of the ‘Chasing Red Herrings: Secrecy Report’.
Six broad possible ‘clusters’ for future potential collaborative fisheries crime research were identified during the day-long workshop and a number of particular research questions under each were crafted. These clusters included: forced labour; jurisdiction/law; law in action; rights and legitimacy; economics and political economy. Three potential collaborative research projects were tentatively identified.
The next steps will entail the formulation of specific research questions and the firming up of collaborative research proposals. PescaDOLUS will continue to facilitate this process and will provide future platforms to advance and promote such research along with other research projects.