Illegal fishing: The great threat to Latin America’s marine sanctuaries

After drugs and arms trafficking, illegal fishing is the third most lucrative illegal activity in the world. It is estimated that around 26 million tons of fish and other marine resources are caught illegally every year to supply a black market worth up to $23 billion.

Illegal fishing takes many forms, one of which involves fishing inside marine protected areas that have been created to safeguard the biodiversity within them. A team of journalists from Mongabay Latam, Cuestión Pública in Colombia, El Universo in Ecuador, and Ciper in Chile, with the advice of satellite-monitoring experts and scientists, analyzed the movement of boats within marine protected areas over a five-year period between 2015 and 2020.

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