Although there is no fishing activity within the central Arctic Ocean at present, commercial fishing activity does occur in the high seas areas of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and within the exclusive economic zone of the Arctic coastal States. Climate change will most probably lead to an increase in fishing activity, through the reduction in sea ice, opening up new areas of the Arctic to fisheries, including the Central Arctic Ocean. This prospect has fuelled intensive negotiations—still ongoing—for the signing of a legally binding agreement to prevent unregulated fisheries therein. What seems missing, though, from both the ongoing negotiations on this agreement and the scholarly literature is reference to fisheries enforcement in the Arctic. Accordingly, this article identifies the most effective tools that could be employed for fisheries enforcement purposes, including port and flag State measures, and addresses their potential application in the Arctic.
Around the globe, nations are creating marine protected areas (MPAs) that prohibit some or all fishing and other potentially harmful activities. MPAs can allow sensitive habitats and ecosystems to prosper in a natural state and can enable recovery of commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries, among other benefits. All too often, however, MPAs exist only on paper. These countries may lack strong legal authority to enable enforcement in their MPAs, further limiting their ability to detect and prosecute offenses. This is especially problematic for large-scale, remote MPAs that are typically located far offshore from the coastal state and face threats from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities carried out by distant water fishing vessels flagged in far-away countries.
Legal Tools for Strengthening Marine Protected Area Enforcement: A Handbook is a new resource for countries seeking to improve enforcement for their existing MPAs or to write new MPA laws with an eye toward compliance and enforcement. Drawing on the input and experience of an expert advisory group, the Handbook introduces a set of principles for effective MPA enforcement to guide policymakers and legal drafters. It then presents a variety of legal tools and approaches available to improve a country’s MPA enforcement and compliance, together with sample provisions that countries may use to implement these reforms through targeted national legislation, regulations, international agreements, or other legal instruments. Topics covered include the powers of enforcement officials, detection of offenses, adjudication, penalties, international collaboration, the role of local communities, and more.
A substantial amount of scientific effort goes into understanding and measuring compliance in fisheries. Understanding why, how and when fishers follow or violate rules is crucial for designing effective fishery policies that can halt overfishing. Non-compliance was initially explained almost exclusively with reference to economic and self-interested motivations. More recently, however, most explanations involve a combination of economic, social, political and environmental factors. Despite this recent development towards more holistic explanations, many scientists continue to frame the issue in binary terms: fishers either follow rules, or they don't. In this article we challenge this binary interpretation and focus attention on the diversity of fishers’ dispositions and perceptions that underpin compliant behaviour. To this aim we construct a typology of fishers’ responses towards regulation and authorities, thereby developing conceptual tools to understand different motivations and attitudes that underlie compliance outcomes. For this purpose, we identify the motivational postures of ‘creativity’ and ‘reluctance’, and then highlight their empirical relevance with an interview study of Swedish fishers. Reasons for studying the quality and diversity of fishers’ motivations and responses are not purely academic. Conceptualizing and observing the quality of compliance can help policymakers and managers gauge and anticipate the potentiality of non-compliant fishing practices that may threaten the resilience of marine ecosystems.
Some of the most pristine marine ecosystems remaining on earth are in remote areas far from human population centers, both within national jurisdiction or beyond, on the high seas* . Unfortunately even these areas are under pressure from the effects of human activities. Recognizing this, many countries have begun to manage activities in remote maritime areas as well as seeking to conserve areas of high ecological value through the establishment of marine protected areas. In recent years some very large offshore protected areas have been established within national EEZs and in addition some are now also being established on the high seas, through the efforts of several international organizations. Without effective enforcement however, these remote managed areas will remain no more than paper management plans and paper parks.
Surveillance and enforcement is more challenging in large, remote areas than for near-shore MPAs as they are often far from populated land, and therefore difficult to reach with traditional manned patrols, radar or other short-range monitoring tools. Advanced technologies have been used successfully for surveillance of large areas, and there is great potential for expansion; however an associated response by law enforcement personnel is still essential to confirm and prosecute violations. Combining surveillance technologies into a single enforcement package has considerable cost-saving potential and is emphasized throughout this report. Additionally, the obvious and targeted presence of law enforcement reduces attempted infractions since there is a perceived significant risk of being caught.
This document reviews and evaluates a range of existing technological options for the surveillance of remote marine managed areas. Some of these technologies are currently in use by fisheries management agencies; some are currently the purview of groups like the military or security agencies; and others have hitherto been unexplored for such purposes. As commercial fishing (regulated or otherwise) is the single greatest pressure to most remote marine ecosystems, followed by vessel-based pollution, we pay particular attention to technologies for the monitoring of such activities. The paper initially discusses surveillance technologies for cooperative vessels; that is, those that are participating in a managed activity where monitoring systems are obligatory. The majority of the paper however describes the range of sensors and platforms that can be applied to the more challenging task of monitoring non-cooperative vessels.
Surveillance technologies alone are insufficient to ensure compliance, but they are a necessary component. This first paper in the series does not look at questions of integrating surveillance technologies into an enforcement regime; neither does it consider issues improving compliance. These are clearly key issues, and we anticipate giving these issues the space they deserve in subsequent publications.
We provide evidence for temporal displacement of illegal discharges of oil from shipping, a major source of ocean pollution, in response to a monitoring technology that features variation in the probability of conviction by time of day. During the nighttime, evidence collected by Coast Guard aircraft using radar becomes contestable in court because the nature of an identified spot cannot be verified visually by an observer on board of the aircraft. Seasonal variation in time of sunset is used to distinguish evasive behavior from daily routines on board. Using data from surveillance flights above the Dutch part of the North Sea during 1992–2011, we provide evidence for a sudden increase in illegal discharges after sunset across the year. Our results show that even a tiny chance of getting caught and a mild punishment can have a major impact on behavior.
This study aimed to assess the suitability of the Berkowitz' (2005) social norms approach (SNA) for improving compliance behaviour amongst recreational fishers. A total of 138 recreational shore anglers were interviewed in Eastern Cape, South Africa and asked about their compliance, attitudes towards compliance, perceptions of compliance and the attitudes of other anglers. Results indicate that angler compliance for individual regulations was relatively high (75%–90%). Attitudes of anglers towards compliance was positive, with >80% feeling that “breaking any regulation is wrong.” Yet, as predicted by the SNA, interviewees often overestimated the non-compliance and negative attitudes of other anglers, particularly as their social proximity decreased. Interviewees with the greatest misperceptions were also less compliant. The social norms present in the Eastern Cape rock and surf fishery fulfil the criteria required for the application of the SNA, suggesting that this approach may provide a suitable normative intervention for improving compliance to be used in conjunction with instrumental approaches in recreational fisheries.
Minimizing illegal fishing is of paramount importance for fisheries sustainability. The present study focused on the fisheries infringements through the analysis of the official records in one of the largest Mediterranean lagoons, Mesolonghi-Etolikon, and the analysis of questionnaires answered by local fishermen to determine the true effectiveness of the control efforts. This double analysis represents a valuable case study for determining illegal fisheries practices, status of control, and efficacy of regulations. Results exhibited that: (a) the high contribution of the recorded infringements was due to absence of fishermen/vessel licenses, (b) fines are not proportionate with the type of illegal activity, and (c) the number of the recorded infringements represented a very small percentage of the estimated number of fishing days conducted by both professional fishermen and people not having fishing/vessel license. Findings indicated a situation with great presence of illegality that might completely weak any possibility for assessing the status of fisheries and resources and seriously hamper any definition of thresholds useful for sustainable management. Solutions are discussed especially in the light of revision of regulations and of transparency in the decision-making process.
Due to the ambiguity of international law in this area, taking action against vessels without nationality on the high seas has been inherently problematic. In recent years, however, a number of legal developments have emerged in the international fisheries sphere, designed to address this uncertainty. This article considers the ambiguity in this area, describes recent legal developments and contemplates their impact on the law, including their potential to contribute to the development of a new customary norm, or represent evidence of an international legal and political consensus on existing law. It considers the likelihood that these recent developments, whatever their precise legal effect, will facilitate the international community’s efforts in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing into the future.
Non-compliance with fishing regulations can undermine management effectiveness. Previous bivariate approaches were unable to untangle the complex mix of factors that may influence fishers’ compliance decisions, including enforcement, moral norms, perceived legitimacy of regulations and the behaviour of others. We compared seven multivariate behavioural models of fisher compliance decisions using structural equation modeling. An online survey of over 300 recreational fishers tested the ability of each model to best predict their compliance with two fishing regulations (daily and size limits). The best fitting model for both regulations was composed solely of psycho-social factors, with social norms having the greatest influence on fishers’ compliance behaviour. Fishers’ attitude also directly affected compliance with size limit, but to a lesser extent. On the basis of these findings, we suggest behavioural interventions to target social norms instead of increasing enforcement for the focal regulations in the recreational blue cod fishery in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. These interventions could include articles in local newspapers and fishing magazines highlighting the extent of regulation compliance as well as using respected local fishers to emphasize the benefits of compliance through public meetings or letters to the editor. Our methodological approach can be broadly applied by natural resource managers as an effective tool to identify drivers of compliance that can then guide the design of interventions to decrease illegal resource use.
Oceana, in partnership with Google and SkyTruth, has developed Global Fishing Watch, a public, web- based technology platform that will track global fishing activity and be used to improve transparency and traceability in the world’s fishing industry. It will allow scientists to study the interactions between fishing and ocean processes, help governments better manage fish stocks and enforce policies aimed at rebuilding their fisheries, and provide citizens, NGOs and activists with the information they need to hold governments and fisheries management organizations accountable for responsible fisheries management practices. Oceana and its partners released the Global Fishing Watch prototype in late 2014, and are now developing a version for public release.