How Can Whistleblowers Stop Illegal Fishing?
The Lacey Act and the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act, False Claims Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and Endangered Species Act provide rewards for whistleblowers who come forward about wildlife crime, including illegal fishing operations, otherwise known as Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF).
The U.S. is one of the largest importers of seafood in the world, regularly purchasing over $18 billion a year. The high demand for certain types of fish has put a severe strain on ecosystems and economies, with many committing IUUF practices to meet the demand. The actions of these perpetrators can put people’s lives and livelihoods at risk, as damage is done to fish populations that sometimes are never able to recover from. Whistleblower reports are key to ending illegal fishing practices and allowing ecosystems and fish populations to recover from the strain of overfishing.
Marine life around the globe is under threat from illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, overexploitation, and ocean pollution. According to the IUCN Red List, over 2,200 species of marine life are vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. The plundering of our oceans’ biodiversity is also having an adverse economic impact. Illegal fishing costs the global economy up to $23 billion USD each year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
U.S. whistleblower laws have rewards provisions for those who step forward with valuable information on ocean pollution and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The laws provide monetary rewards for U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and NGOs whose disclosures lead to successful prosecutions. Leveraging this system will revolutionize the detection of wildlife crime, radically increase effective law enforcement, and help protect the biodiversity of our oceans.
Confidentially Report Illegal Fishing
If you have information related to illegal fishing, submit a report using our secure, confidential intake form, and our attorneys will review your case for free. Our Whistleblower Legal Assistance Program helps connect whistleblowers with legal representation. You can get the help you need by submitting the information you have to appropriate law enforcement officials and learn about your eligibility for monetary rewards under the law.
Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on wildlife whistleblower laws.