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January 25th, 2021

Time to end illegal fishing!

topic:Overfishing
type:Donation, NGO, Volunteering
by:Yair Oded

Overexploitation of fisheries is among the top drivers of environmental degradation worldwide. As of this reporting, close to 30 percent of fisheries are regarded as overexploited and over 60 are fully exploited. 

This trend, which is driven by unfettered industrial fishing as well as illegal fishing in protected areas, contributes not only to the decimation of biodiversity and ecological equilibrium, but also to staggering rates of hunger and economic strife among the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) - an international NGO working to protect natural habitats from exploitation and ensure that they are used sustainably to support the needs of local communities that depend on them - has launched an expansive campaign to protect the oceans and tackle industrial and illegal fishing around the world. 

EJF does so by documenting and filming instances of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing around the world and compiling extensive reports about such incidents, which they later bring to the attention of the international community and relevant stakeholders.

The NGO collaborates closely with governments and like minded-organisations to bring attention to the plight of vulnerable communities that are hurt by illegal fishing, and press for tangible action by both local authorities and industry elements in order to eradicate overexploitation of oceans and illegal fishing. 

Among other demands put forth by EJF, the organisation calls for the introduction of new and unique identifiers for fishing vessels globally, for the installation of monitoring systems on the boards of all fishing vessels, and for governments and the private sector to limit market access for illegal fish products “by strengthening transparency and traceability measures, exchanging vessel and catch information between states and stakeholders, to identify and address illegal fishing, and adopting robust sustainability standards for seafood suppliers,” as per the organisation’s website. 

The organisation runs recurring volunteer programs as part of its campaign to protect the oceans, during which the volunteers are trained to properly document and report cases of illegal fishing. 

Please visit EJF’s website to make a donation to one of EJF’s campaigns and learn about its volunteer opportunities. 

Image by: Ted McGrath

ejfoundation.org