#Fishyleaks – New website aims to blow whistle on #EUOverfishing

| July 11, 2019

A new website launched on 10 July aims to provide a confidential, anonymous and secure way for people working in the fishing industry, public authorities or other areas to report what they believe are improper, unethical or illegal fishing practices. 

“We created Fishyleaks to help those who want to share information with us, in a confidential, anonymous and secure manner,” said Our Fish (the campaign which created Fishyleaks) Programme Director Rebecca Hubbard. “Europe’s fisheries are a common resource, for the benefit of all citizens, that should be managed sustainably and legally to ensure the future of coastal communities, food security and ocean health in the face of the climate crisis. Fishyleaks aims to provide a platform for people who witness activity that undermines these important aspirations, so that they can share that information, while minimising risk to themselves.”

“Our Fish often receives news of infringements, but lack the evidence to prove it. By receiving information via Fishyleaks, we hope to expose the problems in the sector, so that we can push for solutions.”

Fishyleaks.eu provides examples of the kind of report that could prove useful to achieving legal and sustainable fisheries. The website asks whether whistleblowers believe they have witnessed illegal or unethical activities, or witnessed improper practice at sea, such as illegal discarding or high-grading. For example, this video footage, shared with Our Fish, from 2014 off the coast of Scotland, shows large scale illegal discarding of small pelagic fish in contravention of the ban on high-grading (where the lowest value fish are discarded and only the highest value catches are recorded and landed).

The Fishyleaks website provides other examples: Has catch reported as landed at port failed to match what was caught at sea? Are important reports, detailing poor administration or management of the fishing industry, gathering dust, rather than being released to the public?

Our Fish plans to analyse information received, and to verify content via Fishyleaks’ secure messaging system and checking with other sources. Our Fish may share the content in reports to national fisheries authorities, national or EU parliaments, the EU Commission or other relevant authorities.

On the Fishyleaks website, detailed information is available on how potential whistleblowers can protect their security and identity – such as the use of secure web browsers, along with measures Our Fish has taken to ensure the anonymity of those seeking to send reports, and whistleblower resources in selected EU countries.

Fishyleaks.eu was created using the open source GlobaLeaks platform, which aims to  enable secure and anonymous whistleblowing initiatives. Globaleaks is developed by the Milan, Italy-based Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights, whose mission “is to promote and develop in the society the awareness of and the attention to transparency and accountability, be they related to the society-at-large or not. Our goal is to increase the citizens’ involvement in the management of matters of public interest and to boost the active participation of workers and employees to the correct management of corporations and companies they work for.”

The Fishyleaks website is currently published in English, with other language versions are set to follow. In the meantime people submitting reports via Fishyleaks are invited to do so  information in the language they are most comfortable with – Our Fish will carry out translations of reports.

About Our Fish

Our Fish works to ensure European member states implement the Common Fisheries Policy and achieve sustainable fish stocks in European waters.

Our Fish works with organizations and individuals across Europe to deliver a powerful and unwavering message: overfishing must be stopped, and solutions put in place that ensure Europe’s waters are fished sustainably. Our Fish demands that the Common Fisheries Policy be properly enforced, and Europe’s fisheries effectively governed.

Our Fish calls on all member states to set annual fishing limits at sustainable limits based on scientific advice, and to ensure that their fishing fleets prove that they are fishing sustainably, through monitoring and full documentation of their catch.

Follow Our Fish on Twitter: @our_fish

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Category: A Frontpage, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR), EU, Illegal fishing, Maritime, Oceana, Overfishing

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