In a virtual ceremony on April 22, Brazil signed the Copenhagen Declaration, a document that places the nation as member of Blue Justice, an initiative by the Norwegian government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) aimed at promoting transnational efforts against organized crime in the fishing industry.
Brazil is the 34th country to join the group.
“Brazil is a large and important sea nation and has the 10th largest economic zone in the world. It is therefore very gratifying that the country is now joining the declaration”, says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood of Norway, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.
It was Brazil´s Secretary of Fisheries, Jorge Seif Junior who signed the declaration on behalf of the Brazilian government. At the event, Seif Jr. said that fishing is a multi-billion dollar international business and, as consumption will continue to grow, crimes associated with the segment need to be controlled.
“Crime is hitching a ride in this growth and something needs to be done,” he pointed out.
“Fisheries crime is a global problem that crosses borders, and therefore we must be able to cooperate quickly and efficiently and use the opportunities that exist in a digital world. That is why we have built this system to facilitate secure global interaction in this important work”, Minister Ingebrigtsen said.
A Norwegian-developed digital cooperation platform will bring authorities together in the fight against fishing crime. The platform, which is administered by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), was used during the signing with Brazil on April 22,2021.
“We must work along all lines to ensure that developing countries also get a share of the opportunities offered by innovation and digitalisation, which gives the countries the opportunity to skip development stages. We know that fishing crime has a negative impact on food security and the livelihoods of vulnerable coastal populations. Therefore, this digital platform is an important tool”, Norway´s Minister of Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein commented.
The countries in the Marine Panel have agreed to ensure 100 percent sustainable marine management within their respective sea areas. Fisheries crime is one of several serious threats to the development of sustainable maritime economies.
“Together with the other coastal nations in the Marine Panel, we are now actively working to get more of the world’s countries to make a conscious choice to prioritize sustainable marine management. Political will and international cooperation, together with practical tools such as the Blue Justice Initiative, are important in this work”, says the representative of the Norwegian Prime Minister in the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Marine Economy,Jens Frølich Holte.
To support the platform, Norway will contribute unique expertise in vessel tracking through the international competence center in vessel tracking, which the Directorate of Fisheries and the Norwegian Coastal Administration collaborate on in Vardø.
(Source: Regjeringen.no, Agência Brasil, Seafood Brasil)