Food Security amidst Crime: Harm of Illegal Fishing and Fish Fraud on Sustainable Oceans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Blue economy goals emerged to harness the ocean’s benefits. Goals differ between regions and countries, though establishing and maintaining the health of the oceans is consistently at the core. Blue economy agenda incorporate several prongs, for example, fisheries and aquaculture; renewable ocean energy; seaports and shipping; offshore hydrocarbons and seabed minerals; and tourism. Healthy oceans and indeed abundantly stocked oceans ensures food security, particularly when reliance on fisheries as the main source of protein is expected to rise in the future. Fisheries security is directly affected by illegal fishing. To ensure current stocks are managed and declining stocks once again thrive, global, regional, and domestic regulatory efforts must seek to eliminate illegal fishing. Though, the problem does not end when fish are landed at the port. Globally inconsistent labeling regulations may provide opportunity for unsustainable and illegally caught fish to be distributed, processed and potentially exported, failing Sustainable Development Goals 2 (zero hunger) and 14 (life below the water). Due to inadequate labeling, consumers purchasing fish and fish products may lack critical information that could reduce demand of declining fish stocks, or catches that employ damaging methods. As such, greater transparency and consistency is needed in fish labeling to ensure consumers can make sustainable and environmentally responsible choices. While consumers are increasingly making sustainable choices, inadequate labeling laws and policies fail to inform these choices. Loopholes created enable opportunities for organized criminals to infiltrate, taking advantage of the consumer, the industry, and the fishery. Without clear and consistent labeling, efforts to comply with SDG 14 and promote SDG 2 are stunted due to food fraud. Useful insights intend to inform Australian and international policy- and decision-makers alike.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Climate Resilient Societies
EditorsRobert C. Brears
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-42461-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2021


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