Resources & Climate

New Illegal Fishing Database Details Environmental Security Threats

in Program

In advance of the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York next week, the Stimson Center’s Environmental Security team is pleased to officially release our new illegal fishing database. The database highlights the pervasiveness of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the world — from Southeast Asia to the Caribbean. It identifies over 200 incidents of illegal fishing in 2016 that converge with a U.S. national and/or regional security dimension, such as arms and drugs smuggling, corruption, and transnational organized crime. Findings include:

  • 130 incidents that converge with regional and national security interests
  • 48 incidents that converge with transnational organized crime
  • 16 incidents of illegal fishing that converge with drug smuggling
  • 10 incidents that converge with human security issues, like slavery

Most interestingly, however, are the gaps in coverage on this map: in areas of the world where there are few incidents, analysts and policymakers should take note, for this likely reveals a gap in capacity to monitor, enforce, and prosecute perpetrators of IUU fishing.

Please visit to engage with the interactive map and explore each incident.

Stimson Welcomes Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti

Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti joined Stimson’s Sally Yozell, the Director of the Environmental Security program, to discuss the security implications of illegal fishing in Southeast Asia. Drawing on her experience in business and government, Minister Susi highlighted the importance of balancing security with economic development and sustainability in the fishing industry. Click here to watch the full event. 

Identifying Cutting-Edge Tools to Defend Marine Protected Areas


Last fall, the Environmental Security team and National Geographic’s Pristine Seas announced and launched an online catalog of monitoring, surveillance, and enforcement technologies to defend against IUU fishing in marine protected areas (MPAs). The first of its kind project features over 120 technologies, ranging from radar and vessel monitoring systems to unmanned underwater vehicles. To learn more, visit

Environmental Security In The News

Stimson’s Environmental Security team has been featured in a variety of outlets including POLITICO, World Politics Review, Cipher Brief, U.S. News and World Report, The New York Timesand The Washington Post. Read our recent analysis: 

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Natural Security Series: Global Security and Illegal Fishing in Somalia

By Sally Yozell

Sunset-Clouds-Boat-Yellow-Sea-Horizon-Ocean-1621581 Keeping Watch on China’s Maritime Strategy in North Korea

By Amanda Shaver and Emma Myers


About The Environmental Security Program


The Environmental Security Program focuses on the linkages and threats posed to U.S. national and regional security due to environmental issues, including resource security, the impacts of climate change and other environmental problems that contribute to destabilization and conflict. Click here to learn more about our work.

Yozell photo  2 Emma_Myers_1 Amanda_Shaver 2
Sally Yozell,
Senior Associate &
[email protected]
Emma Myers,
Research Assistant,
[email protected]
Amanda Shaver,
Research Assistant, [email protected]


Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Choose Your Subscription Topics
* indicates required
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea
South Asian Voices