International Symposium on FishCRIME Held in Cape Town

20 October 2015 Stop Illegal Fishing Press Release also available HERE

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The first International Symposium on FishCRIME has taken place in Cape Town, South Africa. There is increasing awareness that illegal fishing is just one aspect of the criminal and illicit practices that are taking place in oceans and inland waterways around the world. Per Erik Bergh of Stop Illegal Fishing confirmed that the investigative and analytical work of Stop Illegal Fishing has helped to expose the issues involved, commenting that “many of the cases we deal with are showing links to complex, multi-sectoral and transnational criminal activity.”

Greater levels of cooperation are needed; cooperation that extends beyond fisheries professionals to other agencies – the police, customs officials and port authorities to name but a few. Sharing lessons of both success and failure is essential if our understanding of how illegal fisheries and fisheries crimes are linked and how we can find better ways to stop them. This Symposium provided an important opportunity to explore new and practical approaches to tackling transnational fisheries crime.

“The very good attendance level emphasized the importance of this topical subject. The active participation by a wide range of countries both inside and outside Africa reflected the global effort needed to counter the scourge of Fish Crime. The meeting illustrated well the breathtaking impact of Fish Crime on resources, as well as the methods involving fraud, corruption, slavery and murder.” Richard Ball, COLTO

Ceba Mtoba, head of Fisheries Compliance Enforcement in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the Symposium would put South Africa and the rest of the continent under sharp focus. “This meeting is a call for a coordinated global response to fish crimes and also acknowledges the important role played by civil society organisations and NGOs in combatting this scourge.”

The International Symposium on FishCRIME was a joint initiative of Stop Illegal Fishing, the South African Department for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and PescaDOLUS.

More information on the International Symposium on FishCRIME can be found at