Oceana and Inmarsat join forces to tighten the net on illegal fishing
Press Release Date:
Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, supported by Oceana, the largest organisation solely dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s ocean, have taken further steps to tackle illegal fishing. Oceana flagged 13 vessels that were identified by multiple Regional Fisheries Management Organisations as having engaged in illegal fishing. Inmarsat, which has worked for many years to support sustainable fishing, barred the vessels from its commercial services and updated procedures to screen against global illegal fishing vessel lists to ensure that such operators do not access its services. This is a crucial step further to stop illegal fishing because the absence of maritime mobile satellite communication services makes it more difficult for these vessels to find fish faster and increase profits.
Pascale Moehrle, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe, says: “We welcome Inmarsat’s decision to take action to support sustainable fishing. We call on all companies that provide services to the global fishing sector to follow this example and screen for illegal fishing vessels, to cut the lifelines that enable these unscrupulous operators to continue plundering the ocean.”
By supporting initiatives to tackle illegal fishing, Inmarsat is in the vanguard of businesses that are reducing these illicit operators’ access to essential services that keep their business operations afloat.
National authorities also need to ensure that businesses and individuals located in their country are not providing services to illegal fishing vessels, since this is prohibited in Europe and may imply a legal risk of prosecution.
Illegal fishing affects the ocean worldwide, inflicting damage to the marine environment and to the local communities that depend on it, costing the global economy tens of billions of euros every year. Illegal fishing can also be associated with transnational criminal activities, from human trafficking and slavery to the transportation of drugs and arms.
Oceana is calling on all companies in the maritime industry conducting business with fishing vessels to adopt due diligence measures that ensure no support is provided to those who engage in illegal fishing.
Notes to editors:
- Regional Fisheries Management Organisations are international bodies with mandates to manage fish stocks in a particular region.
- Within the marine insurance sector, businesses have already started to improve their due diligence through screening new and existing clients against official lists of sanctioned Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels. Leading insurers have also signed on to the Oceana and UNEP FI landmark 2017 industry statement against pirate fishing.
- Further guidance for businesses and authorities includes:
- PullthePlugonPirateFishing: Oceana’s collaboration and information-sharing website for businesses who want to join the fight against illegal fishing