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
04 mai 2017

INTERPOL warning on human trafficking links to the fishing industry

02 mars 2017

Des arrestations et des saisies effectuées dans le monde entier lors d’une opération de répression du trafic d’espèces sauvages

20 janvier 2017

INTERPOL launches new project targeting African-Asian wildlife crime links

20 mai 2016

Targeting organized crime networks behind illegal fishing focus of INTERPOL meeting

18 mars 2016

Spanish operation nets suspects behind illegal fishing

06 novembre 2015

INTERPOL’s role in combating illegal fishing recognized

13 octobre 2015

INTERPOL-supported illegal fishing investigations lead to prosecution

15 janvier 2015

La Nouvelle-Zélande demande la publication de notices mauves INTERPOL afin d’identifier des réseaux se livrant à la pêche illégale

05 décembre 2014

Fisheries crime investigations supported by INTERPOL training

02 juin 2014

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

23 mai 2014

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

22 janvier 2014

L’Afrique du Sud demande la publication de notices INTERPOL pour des bateaux soupçonnés de pêche illégale et d’atteintes aux droits de l’équipage

05 décembre 2013

Plusieurs pays unissent leurs forces pour identifier un navire se livrant à des activités de pêche illégale par l’intermédiaire d’INTERPOL

06 septembre 2013

La Norvège demande la publication de la première notice INTERPOL concernant des faits de pêche illégale

26 février 2013

INTERPOL lance le Projet Scale pour lutter contre la pêche illégale