Combating illegal fishing through sustainable seafood certification

Mrs Kendra Thomas Travaille2,3, Dr Jade Lindley1,2

1UWA Law School, Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, Crawley, Australia,

2UWA Oceans Institute, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Crawley, Australia,

3Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, USA

Seafood certification and eco-labeling programs, which leverage market forces to incentivize fisheries sustainability, have changed the face of the global seafood market through an expanding supply of and demand for certified seafood. To maintain its place as a main supplier to the US and Europe, The Bahamas Caribbean spiny lobster fishery sought certification from one of the largest seafood certification programs in the world, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Through the process of fisheries improvement to meet the MSC standard, the plight of illegal trans-boundary fishing by foreign fleets, particularly fishing by large vessels from the Dominican Republic surfaced. In this research, we examine the known nature and impact of the illegal aspect of this fishery on the certification process, as well as governance approaches to respond. The first of its kind, this research provides a benchmark for other fisheries improvement processes.


Dr Jade Lindley is a criminologist at the UWA Law School. Her research focuses on transnational organised crimes, in particular illegal fishing, fraud, maritime piracy, and illegal trafficking (people and other contraband).


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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