Norway's minister for fisheries Per Sandberg's opening speech
Check against delivery
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be here with you!
The fisheries sector is one of the most important industries in the world.
In the developed world, fish means "big" money.
Where there is a lot of money, there are also "temptations".
In many of the developing countries, fish means basic food, work and income.
More than 50 per cent of the global trade in fisheries comes from developing countries.
Unfortunately, crimes threaten fisheries.
It is no secret that transnational organized criminal networks are involved in the global fishing industry!
They undermine countries' capacity to promote food security, reduce poverty and fund development activities. Such criminal networks are very well organised and connected.
The good thing is that we are long past the days where our oceans were a place beyond laws and regulation.
Today, fighting fisheries crime must be a priority for the international community.
I believe the role of the FishCRIME Symposium is to contribute to a greater understanding of the complexity of fisheries crime.
A good first step is to find a common understanding of what fisheries crime is.
A second step is to join forces to create an effective global response to this problem.
To be able to profit from crime at sea the criminal networks have several ways. I will give you some examples on how they work:
- They use fishing vessels for smuggling drugs and migrants.
- Illegal fishing vessels use human trafficking victims. Men and children work as slaves.
- When the fish enters the markets, they use corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and fraud.
Our goal is not only to stop the vessel from illegal fishing, but also to catch, investigate and prosecute the persons behind the crime.
To do this, we must think and act globally.
International problems demand international solutions, and international cooperation.
We should deal with serious crimes through the criminal justice system.
The prosecutors and the police must be involved in investigation of fisheries crime cases.
Like they are in any other cases of crime.
In Indonesia, they have introduced "the multiple door approach".
This means a close cooperation all along the value chain. Between police, fisheries authorities, coast guard, customs, tax, labour inspection and others.
Norway uses the same approach.
We believe looking at the bigger picture is the way forward!
I believe there is a global willingness to cooperate against fisheries crime.
We are talking about a sector of crime that is doing serious harm to people, the environment and marine resources. All in all the blue economy.
Police cooperation between countries is extremely important!
We need to support the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and INTERPOL and other organizations in their efforts to fight transnational organized fisheries crime.
In 2011 and 2013, the Crime Commission adopted two resolutions on transnational organized crime committed at sea.
As a result, expert groups were established here in UNODC to deal with the issue.
I would like to highlight the two important expert meetings last year (2016).
- First, the joint United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime /World Wildlife Fund expert group meeting on transnational organized fisheries crime.
This meeting underlined the need to deal with fisheries crime through the whole value chain. From hook to plate!
- Second, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had their second expert group meeting on transnational organized crime committed at sea.
The expert group expressed a need for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue to work on law enforcement against fisheries crime.
Norway will continue to support United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's work against transnational organized fisheries crime.
The other major event was the establishment of the INTERPOL fisheries crime work group.
Through this group, member states can guide the Interpol secretariat in their efforts to combat fisheries crime.
It is also a group for operational people and people on the ground.
Here they meet, network and work on actual cases.
I would like to thank the organisers of this event, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the PescaDOLUS Network.
I would also like to thank the following for their support through the Global programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime and through the Maritime Crime Programme.
They are Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mr. Yury Fedotov and Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz.
Finally yet importantly, I would like to thank the Government of Indonesia and especially the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti for the good Indonesian-Norwegian cooperation on fisheries crime.
I believe that both of our countries started this process in 2008.
Ever since, we have had the cooperation on this issue has been the best.
I am also proud that all the Nordic countries have taken a stand and joined forces against fisheries crime.
It is with great pleasure I would like to inform that the Nordic Council of Ministers recently adopted a joint statement on fisheries crime.
The statement is on behalf of the eight Nordic ministers for fisheries.
I would like to thank Secretary General Dagfinn Høybråten for the Nordic Council of Ministers, for taking part in this third International FishCrime symposium.
Luckily, efforts against fisheries crime is gaining international momentum.
To take this positive development further, Susi Pudjistatuti and myself have agreed to take the initiative to establish an "International Fisheries Crime Expert Panel".
We will do so in partnership with other countries and organizations.
The main goal is to recommend effective strategies and legal frameworks in the fight against transnational organized fisheries crime.
There is a particular focus on the needs of developing countries.
In order to drive the global process forward, the panel should share their report and the recommendations with the UN Crime Commission and other relevant forums, such as this.
There is a big challenge ahead of us. We all have to play our part:
- Political leaders should make fisheries crime a priority.
- We must recognize that fisheries crime is more than illegal catching of fish. It is criminal activity along the whole value chain.
- At the national level, the police and other law enforcement agencies, fisheries agencies and the judiciary, should coordinate their work.
- At the international level, we can do more to improve intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing.
However, we must make sure we talk together.
We want coordination, not duplicating efforts through the international system!
Thank you for your attention!