Commercial fishing employs more than 40 million people in a global market estimated to have reached $156 billion in 2017. Despite its size and importance, the fishing industry remains shrouded in mystery, lacking crucial information about where and how much fish is being caught, vessel ownership, labour practices and how seafood moves along the supply chain.
The operation of distant-water fleets is particularly opaque, and its clandestine nature has led to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing which threatens the long-term sustainability of global fisheries. This lack of transparency harms the future of the fishing industry and robs resources from millions of people who depend on healthy fisheries for their livelihoods and food security.
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