Norway will grant Sri Lanka NOK 39.7 million (Rs. 705 million) through the UNODC to support UN efforts to combat fisheries crime, the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
‘Fisheries crime poses a threat to the world’s fisheries resources and to economic development in developing countries. International cooperation is essential in the fight against this type of crime,’ Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende said announcing the grant.
The Sri Lankan Government is entering into a four-year agreement (from 2017 to 2020) with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with a view to combating transnational organized fisheries crime in developing countries.
The agreement is part of the Fish for Development Programme, which was launched by Mr. Brende last year. It covers a number of different projects to combat fisheries crime. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is the Norwegian party to the agreement.
‘Supporting this work is important in order to address global security threats and promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Fisheries crime is a cross-border problem that requires an international response. By supporting the UN’s efforts in this area, Norway is playing a leading role in promoting sustainable fisheries management,’ said Mr Brende.
Fisheries-related crimes include gross violations of the human rights of those working on fishing vessels, tax evasion, money laundering, forgery of documents and environmental crime. UNODC will support developing countries in updating legislation and building the competence and capacity of the police, customs authorities and legal system.
“The oceans are a priority area for the Government, and international fisheries crime poses a serious threat to both sustainability and biological diversity. The fisheries sector is international and knows no borders. Norwegian seafood has to compete in a global market, and we have a strong interest in combating crimes in all waters, not just Norwegian ones,” said Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg.