Stop Illegal Fishing have pioneered new ways of working, from our creation to support the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community - culminating in the 2008 SADC Statement of Commitment to stop illegal fishing - we have sought to unite the efforts being made by governments, international organisations, industry and NGOs into an informal network that can and does make a difference.

By combining on the ground investigations and capacity building, by researching and creating Africa based evidence telling us what really is going on at sea and out of sight Stop Illegal Fishing have been able to lead the debate, inform policy processes, create awareness, assist in identifying and stopping illegal fishing operations and create a supportive network for the fisheries professionals who are dealing with challenging situations – corruption, threats, pressure and complex legal frameworks – to stop illegal fishing.

Some highlights for Stop Illegal Fishing include:

  • Playing a pivotal role in achieving the 2008 SADC Statement of Commitment to stop illegal fishing
  • The strength of actions taken afterwards by the SADC countries demonstrated real political commitment
  • Coordinating the African Voice on illegal fishing – based on African evidence and experience –the strength of the African countries, one delegation after another, adding a voice to the shared statement – on illegal fishing at COFI means that the needs and priorities of Africa are accounted for
  • Bringing together the countries of FISH-i Africa to form an informal inter-governmental Task Force that is sharing information and intelligence in a way that has never happened before
  • Supporting African countries to take action against illegal operators and proving that not all officials are corrupt or will turn a blind eye
  • Shining a light on the level of document fraud and vessel multiple identity that was happening under our noses but because we didn’t cross-check and share information we never knew
  • Uncovering and understanding the drivers of IUU and the modus operandi – and finding ways to block it, squeeze it and make harder and harder
  • Creating awareness and understanding of the seriousness of IUU fishing and fisheries crime
  • Establishing inter-continental cooperation and dialogue to address the damage to Africa by distant water fishing nations
  • Achieving the recognition from the FAO for the work being done by Stop Illegal Fishing, being awarded the Margarita Lizárraga Medal 2014-2015 was a reflection on the major impacts being made by FISH-i Africa and Stop Illegal Fishing

What impact are we having?

Tawariq 1

On the 23rd of February 2012, almost three years since its arrest, the High Court of the United Republic of Tanzania delivered a guilty verdict in the case of the fishing vessel Tawariq 1.


The Issues

One in four fish in Africa is caught illegally, this threatens the sustainability of fish stocks, damages the ecosystem and deprives governments of income and people of livelihoods.

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Our Initiatives

Illegal fishing is a complex issue that requires multifaceted responses. Stop Illegal Fishing are working with a range of organisations to bring about change.

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