Illegal fishing and associated crime occurs in all jurisdictions – both within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of countries, and on the high seas. Illegal operators maximise profit by exploiting loopholes and weaknesses in international enforcement capacity and law - including vessel flag and name jumping, use of shell-companies, exploitation of low-income countries, and crimes outside of fisheries law such as document forgery and crew exploitation.
Globally there are gaps in both regional cooperation between countries, and inter-agency cooperation at the national level. This leads to a piecemeal approach to the investigation of fisheries related crimes.
TMT's work has highlighted that more often than not the information needed to pursue illegal fishing activities is not being collected, analysed, shared and stored in a systematic manner so that it can be used when needed to undertake effective enforcement action.
TMT is a not-for-profit organisation based in Norway, with offices in Ghana, Hong Kong and the UK.
Our operations focus on working directly with and providing support to fisheries enforcement agencies and other relevant international partners.
We work globally, with a priority on areas at high risk of illegal fishing activities. We have a particular focus on African Coastal States where capacity and resources are extremely limited.
We do not run advocacy or media campaigns, and we rarely publicise our work. Ultimately fisheries enforcement can only be done by government enforcement agencies themselves, and TMT therefore focuses on building the mechanisms and trust, and providing the technical support, to where it is needed most.
TACKLING ILLEGAL FISHING & ASSOCIATED CRIME
Intelligence and Analysis
TMT conducts professional information gathering and analysis on organized illegal fishing and associated corruption, document and vessel identity fraud, fish laundering, labour abuse and other violations of relevant laws. We then provide results and recommendations to enforcement agencies and networks to enable the tracking and prosecution of the vessels and operators involved in these illegal fishing activities and related fisheries crimes.
Building Cooperation and Communication
By supporting regional cooperation between countries, and inter-agency cooperation within countries, TMT helps to improve information sharing and cooperation to tackle fisheries crime. Communication platforms are supported for easy and secure information sharing between countries, and training is provided to fisheries enforcement authorities to build their capacity and systems to collect relevant intelligence, plan and execute enforcement actions, and prosecute fisheries violations.
Training & Support
By providing key information, training and support, TMT is able to assist countries to take concrete actions to combat fisheries crime, which in turn acts as a significant deterrent to those wanting to engage in these illegal activities. TMT is now routinely being used as a source of information and fisheries enforcement support by a number of government fisheries enforcement agencies and RFMOs.
Cutting Edge Tools
TMT has developed and utilises a number of cutting edge tools. These include FACT - Fisheries Analytical Capacity Tool - a bespoke fisheries intelligence management and analytical system, built with the express purpose of capturing and analysing the identities, operations and risk profiles of the global fishing fleet and the companies that operate it. We also provide up to date publically available information on IUU-listed vessels and host a consolidated real time listing of all the main high seas RFMO IUU vessel lists. This can be viewed at www.iuu-vessels.org.