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NOT knowing your UBO fuels US$11.5bn in illegal fishing [your fish supper!!]


NOT knowing your UBO has a direct impact in the fight against environmental crimes, particularly illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which is devastating the world’s fisheries resources, accounting for up to one-fifth of global catches.

The financial secrecy surrounding the owners of vessels is a key driver of IUU fishing as secrecy makes it harder to catch the real perpetrators of this illegal trade.

Most of the world’s IUU fishing takes place in Africa:-

  • Which loses US$11.5bn in illicit financial flows linked to IUU fishing every year.

A significant proportion of this illicit catch in Africa is caught in West Africa,

  • With US$9.5bn losses in this region alone,

And much of the fish caught in Africa by foreign fleets ends up in Europe.

  • In total, the European continent imports some US$14bn worth of seafood from the global South each year, making it a key market for seafood products.

In a report published by the Financial Transparency Coalition in October 2022, it was discovered that:-

  • Among the top 10 operators of vessels reported to be engaged in this illicit practice, one was based in Spain:-
  • While a total of 30 vessels were flagged to Italy, making it the highest European flag jurisdiction for IUU fishing.
  • In total, we found that 12.8% of all vessels engaged in IUU fishing were flagged to a European country.

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