Project Scale is an INTERPOL project to support member countries in identifying, deterring and disrupting transnational fisheries crime.

The project was launched during the 1st INTERPOL International Fisheries Enforcement Conference on 26 February 2013 at the INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon, France. The Conference was followed by the first meeting of the INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group.

Project Scale is supported by the Government of Norway, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the United States Department of State.

The issue

World fish stocks are being rapidly depleted, and valuable species are nearing extinction. Because fish are a valuable commodity, the last decade has seen an escalation of transnational and organized criminal networks engaged in fisheries crime.

Fisheries crime undermines the sustainability of marine living resources and threatens food security and the economic, social and political stability of coastal states which rely on sustainable fisheries for their source of revenue.

The response

In its activities, INTERPOL looks at all types of illegality and criminality which facilitate or accompany illegal fishing activities but reach beyond the traditional definition of illegal fishing. These associated criminal activities may include fraud, avoidance of taxes and handling of stolen goods, corruption, money laundering, document falsification, drug trafficking and human trafficking.

Aims of Project Scale

  • Raise awareness regarding fisheries crime and its consequences;
  • Support institutionalized cooperation between national agencies and international partners, such as through the establishment of National and Regional Environmental Security Task Forces (NESTs and RESTs);
  • Assess the needs of vulnerable member countries to effectively address fisheries crimes;
  • Facilitate regional and international operations to suppress crime, disrupt trafficking routes, and ensure the enforcement of national legislation.


  • Create a strategic plan for INTERPOL’s role in capacity building, information exchange and operational support;
  • Develop the Fisheries Crime Working Group and support its two projects on intelligence and on capacity building and advocacy;
  • Create a case study on fisheries crime in West Africa;
  • Enhance expertise and expand INTERPOL’s international marine enforcement network;
  • Provide expert recommendations on fisheries-related environmental law compliance and enforcement;
  • Provide case-specific investigative support through the deployment of specialized Investigative Support Teams and Incident Response Teams;
  • Support member countries in issuing international notices and alerts;
  • Facilitate region- or commodity-specific operations tailored to the needs of member countries.
Project Scale - news
06 noviembre 2015

INTERPOL’s role in combating illegal fishing recognized

13 octubre 2015

INTERPOL-supported illegal fishing investigations lead to prosecution

03 marzo 2015

INTERPOL promueve una acción global en el Día Mundial de la Naturaleza

15 enero 2015

Nueva Zelanda solicita la publicación de notificaciones moradas de INTERPOL para identificar a organizaciones dedicadas a la pesca ilícita

05 diciembre 2014

Fisheries crime investigations supported by INTERPOL training

02 junio 2014

INTERPOL chief joint mission to Guinea Bissau with UN Special Representative for West Africa focuses on law enforcement capacity

23 mayo 2014

Côte d’Ivoire hosts regional workshop on illegal fishing and crossover crimes

22 enero 2014

Sudáfrica solicita la publicación de notificaciones de INTERPOL sobre embarcaciones sospechosas de pesca ilegal y explotación laboral

05 diciembre 2013

Los países aúnan esfuerzos para localizar un buque pesquero ilegal a través de INTERPOL

06 noviembre 2013

Costa Rica publica una notificación morada de INTERPOL para poner en guardia contra el aleteo de tiburón

06 septiembre 2013

Noruega solicita la publicación de la primera notificación de INTERPOL por pesca ilícita

11 julio 2013

Reunión de INTERPOL sobre los delitos pesqueros en África Austral y Oriental

05 junio 2013

Con ocasión del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, INTERPOL pide una mayor cooperación internacional en materia de seguridad medioambiental

26 febrero 2013

INTERPOL pone en marcha el proyecto SCALE para combatir los delitos pesqueros