Colombian Crackdown on Illegal Fishing

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Colombian Crackdown on Illegal Fishing

This post is part of the Natural Security Forum blog, which provides quick analysis from the Natural Security Forum team and outside contributors. For more information, visit the Natural Security Forum's micro-site at www.naturalsecurityforum.org. 

Guest written by W. Alejandro Sanchez

The Colombian government has recently begun expanding their capabilities to combat IUU fishing, revealing a shift in security priorities.

This past October, the government of Colombia took a major step forward in combating illegal fishing when 26 of its citizens were sent to prison for doing just that. According to Colombian media, this is the first time that Colombians have been prosecuted and sentenced for illegal fishing, a major problem for the South American state that is exacerbated by the presence of unauthorized vessels from foreign nations.

Ongoing incidents and data point to the scale of illegal maritime exploitation, and exemplify how illegal fishing will likely not stop anytime soon. For example, a December 2015 Colombian Navy communiqué revealed that, in that year alone, more than 12,400 kilograms of illegally-obtained sealife were seized.

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