Between 1998 to 2012, there were 72 suspected poaching and illegal fishing of endangered freshwater Pearl Mussel in the rivers of Scotland. 45 of the criminal poaching took place during the last four years.
The protected mussel was found in 155 Scottish rivers at the beginning of the 1900s. Due to illegal fishing, the mussel is currently found in one-thirds of the rivers.
Across Europe, around 90 percent of mussels have been killed in the 20th century.
The mussel can live for over 100 years and produce pearls that are used in luxury items.
Source: Martin Williams, “Rare pearl mussel at risk due to illegal poaching,” Herald Scotland, May 13, 2013.
According to a report by Oceana, the annual catch of Sockeye Salmon in Russia is estimated to be 60 to 90 percent higher than the reported levels due to illegal fishing activities. The illegal haul creates a loss of $40 Million to $74 Million.
Source: Deborah Zabarenko, “Fish piracy costs $10 billion to $23 billion a year -report,” Reuters, May 8, 2013.
Due to illegal fishing activities, the number of sea cucumbers in the waters of Mexico have been decreasing. In 2009, up to 20 tons of sea cucumbers were available. By 2013, the number dropped to 1,900 tons.
Fisherman in Mexico ca earn over $700 a day from harvesting sea cucumbers. The marine animals are then sent to China, where it is considered a delicacy. A pound of sea cucumber can be sold for $300.
Source: Karla Zabludovsky, “Quest for Illegal Gain at the Sea Bottom Divides Fishing Communities,” New York Times, March 19, 2013.
According to a campaigner from Greenpeace, illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean causes the region to lose up to $2 Billion (2 Billion Australian Dollars) every year.
Up to one-third of the fishing activities that take place in the Pacific Ocean is believed to be either illegal or unregulated.
Source: “Interpol moves to halt illegal fishing in Pacific,” Radio Australia, February 28, 2013.
The Government of Tanzania losses up to $220 Million in tax revenue each year due to illegal fishing activities.
Source: ‘Tanzania: State Loses Billions in Illegal Fishing,” AllAfrica, January 30, 2013.
Illegal fishing activities around the world account for 19 percent of the world’s catches, according to the European Union.
The EU reported that the countries of Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu were countries where the governments were not doing enough to combat the activity.
Source: Associated Press, “EU warns 8 nations about illegal fishing,” CBS News, November 15, 2012.
Due to illegal catching and poor governance, Africa losses up to one million tons of fish each year, according to the Director of the Fisheries Center at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The amount of fish lost in Africa represents 10 percent of total global losses.
Losing one million tons of fish is equivalent to losing 10 million cows per year.
Source: “Africa Loses One Million Tonnes of Fish Yearly Due to Illegal Fishing,” AllAfrica, October 25, 2012.
The Voice of America reported that people pay around $50 to bribe local officials in Cambodia to obtain “permits” that allows illegal fishing activities. The permit allows fishing boats to use nets that are hundreds of meters in length are are illegal due to its large size.
In 2010, 321,000 meters of illegal fishing nets was seized in Cambodia.
Source: Say Mony, “Illegal Fishing Threatens Tonie Sap Lake Villagers’ Livelihood,” Voice of America, October 10, 2012.
Guinea losses an estimated $105 Million to illegal fishing.
In a 2006 report by Greenpeace and the Environmental Justice Foundation, the organizations discovered that over half of the 104 ships that were fishing off the coast of Guinea were participating in illegal activities.
Source: John Vidal, “Is the EU taking its over-fishing habits to west African waters?,” Guardian, April 2, 2012.
Countries and fishermen in West Africa lose up to $1.5 Billion a year to illegal fishing activities in the surrounding waters.
Source: Richard Valdmanis and Simon Akam, “Illegal fishing plunders and strains West Africa,” Reuters, March 15, 2012.