Don’t steal our fish!—Officials gather at UN City in Copenhagen to further the fight against fisheries crime

Copenhagen, 15 October 2018 — More than 300 representatives of governments, international organizations and NGOs from 65 countries gathered at UN City in Copenhagen today for the fourth annual FishCRIME Symposium. The event aims to switch the focus on fisheries crime from the ocean to activities on land, such as financial crime associated with illegal fishing. A new forum for large ocean nations to be established at the symposium, will help fight transnational fisheries crime.

The European Union estimates that 20-25 percent of world catches result from fisheries crime.

-I hope that the UN can lift the work against fish-crime further, said the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Harald T. Nesvik (Progress Party) in his opening remarks.

Participants will discuss new policies to address fisheries crime, the impact of these crimes, as well as the shadow economy and corruption that enable criminals to extract large profits while decimating natural resources, infringing on human rights and evading taxation.

Camilla Bruckner, Director of UNDP’s Nordic Representation Office, said in her opening remarks that the symposium puts a much-needed spotlight on the issue of fisheries crimes, which threaten the viability of legal fisheries and undermining achieving the SDGs. Bruckner also pointed out that by building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions—the essence of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies—all of society can be engaged in reducing these crimes.

-Promoting the rule of law will help reduce illicit financial flows, and much needed light can be shed on the shadow economy, she said.

Ministers from the Faroes, Ghana, Indonesia, Kiribati, Namibia, Norway, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka signed a joint declaration at the symposium, agreeing to share information and provide mutual support in the fight against fisheries crime.

-If we are to combat fisheries crime, we first need to obtain international recognition of the problem, said Nesvik.

The symposium is 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.

For further information, please contact Trygve Olfarnes, Deputy Director, Nordic Representation Office, tel: +47 401 01 305,