The Illegal Fishing and Organized Crime Nexus: Illegal Fishing as Organized Crime, is an extensive report, which was published in 2015. The report was presented at the 13th United Nations Crime Congress, on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, April 12-19, 2015, Doha, Qatar (Ancillary Session: 'Strengthening the Legal Architecture to Respond to Environmental Crime.').
Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are used to attract fish seeking a spot to hide within the big blue, by creating a shadow on the surface which attracts fish. FADs heavily impact on juvenile fish of various species, prohibiting them from enjoying at least one reproduction cycle before being caught. Furthermore, FADs cause high levels of bycatch and the plastics used in the process often end up floating ocean waste.
During August 2014 The Black Fish ran an investigation with over 100 port inspections of fishing ports along Sweden’s west coast. Primary objective was to locate illegally modified lobster (nephrop) trawl nets, which were introduced to reduce cod by-catch but remain in use to this day.
In Europe the illegal use of driftnets is one of the most prolific examples of illegal practices carried out at sea. In both the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea the use of the nets is believed to be ongoing, despite a ban on their use. In the Mediterranean alone, over 500 ships are still using driftnets, killing an estimated 10.000 cetaceans every year, as well as thousands of endangered sharks and sea turtles.
Illegal, large-scale driftnets continue to be used in the Mediterranean. Port inspection visits were conducted in three countries, Italy, Albania and Tunisia, in 2013. These indicated that illegal driftnetting continues in Albania and Tunisia, with unconfirmed indications of illegal activity also documented in Italy.