United Nations
The Pew Ending Illegal Fishing Project
by The Pew Charitable Trusts (Non-governmental organization (NGO))
In 2013, The Pew Charitable Trusts commenced a 10-year program bringing together governments, the private sector, and civil society to create an affordable and effective system to fight illegal fishing. Pews Ending Illegal Fishing Project uses a multi-faceted approach, focusing on policy, enforcement, and technology, to create a global system of enforcement that will close the doors on illegal fishers. Under this project, Pew works with the following partners:

Satellite Applications Catapult, a United Kingdom-based not-for-profit innovation center. Through this partnership, a new technology platform emerged, which can provide enforcement and compliance officials in any jurisdiction with access to clear, reliable, and up-to-date information and advice so they can take action against illegal fishing. Catapult helped develop the satellite-driven technology that makes monitoring and surveillance possible, even in capacity-constrained jurisdictions. It provides a risk index on fishing vessel behavior to help countries police their waters or retailers understand better the risks in their supply chain.

FISH-i Africa, a consortium of eight East African nations committed to cooperative action to combat illegal fishing in their waters. FISH-i Africa countries are already collaborating successfully to combat illegal fishing and may be one of the first regions to leverage this satellite technology, along with making key policy changes, to demonstrate the full system viability.

INTERPOL, through its Project Scale, effectively supports nations by ensuring they have the most up-to-date information on illegal fishing activity and associated fisheries crime. INTERPOLs global police network provides nations with the tools and services needed to respond to the evolving threat of fisheries crime. It facilitates the collection and sharing of information by partners, which leads to effective prosecution and deterrence.
Progress reports
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Ratification, accession and acceptance of UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
November 2017
Integrate fisheries and environmental law enforcement activities into INTERPOLs traditional law enforcement tools and services.
November 2017
Deliver and implement additional functionality of Project Eyes on the Seas technology to enable users to more quickly identify emerging threats, anomalies, and suspicious patterns of behavior in order to comprehensively analyze global fishing activity and suspicious or illegal vessel behavior.
November 2019
Create a regional model consisting of states working together to build a record of successful fisheries enforcement actions in developing countries and improve fisheries policies and implementation through coordination, communication, and technical resources among States.
Other, please specify
Support for creating a model of how cooperating coastal, flag and port States in southeastern Africa the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, and Tanzaniawork together to increase information sharing, training, enforcement resour
Other, please specify
Support for development and implementation of a technology platform to include advanced machine learning and behavioral analytics, vessel risk assessment algorithms, and reporting tools to automatically detect suspicious or illegal fishing activity, and p
Other, please specify
Support for outreach and collaboration with INTERPOLs 190 member countries to raise awareness of fisheries crime, annual regional consultations and National Environmental Security Seminars (NESS), and urgent 24/7 support and assistance in criminal invest
Basic information
Time-frame: 03/2013 - 03/2023
The Pew Charitable Trusts (NGO); Satellite Applications Catapult (Other relevant actor); FISH-i Africa (Intergovernmental organization); INTERPOL (Intergovernmental organization)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Andrew Friedman, Senior Associate, afriedman@pewtrusts.org, 202-540-6684
Washington, DC, USA
Other SDGs
United Nations