Laxenburg/Victoria – 9 December 2021. On today’s International Anti-Corruption Day, the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) to further develop its cooperation in the anti-corruption field.
After a series of joint activities over the last 18 months, including several webinars, the parties represented by the Dean and Executive Secretary of IACA, Mr. Thomas Stelzer, and the Executive Director of the International Secretariat of the FiTI, Mr. Sven Biermann, decided that forms of future cooperation may include joint projects aimed at preventing and combating corruption, information sharing, promoting capacity- and institution-building programmes in anti-corruption, making use of each other’s professional networks, and other kinds of technical assistance. In particular, the parties may collaborate on IACA’s Collective Impact Hub programme under the Siemens Integrity Initiative regarding collective action approaches in the areas of marine fisheries and transparency.
According to Mr. Stelzer “corruption is clearly a critical problem for many sectors, and there is little doubt that fisheries are vulnerable to extensive problems related to corruption. However, so far corruption in fisheries has been given surprisingly limited attention in international debates on fisheries reforms. We look forward to collaborate with the FiTI to develop joint capacity building trainings on corruption and marine fisheries and raise awareness about key drivers of corruption in fisheries and different approaches to tackle this global problem.”
Mr. Biermann highlighted in his remarks that “a lack of basic transparency is an underlying facilitator of all the negative aspects of the global fisheries sector, including corruption. While it is typically linked to improved oversight and to accountability, there is a growing appreciation that the real power of transparency to fight corruption is indirect – by helping to change political debates about how governments function and for whose benefit. IACA is a natural partner for the FiTI to empower professionals, including national authorities, the corporate sector, individuals, as well as civil society organisations, to make a lasting impact in the fight against corruption”.
Our oceans are undoubtedly the main source of life on the planet, containing 97% of the Earth’s water and representing 99% of the planet’s living space by volume. But today our fisheries resources are under threat. Fisheries can be portrayed as a highly lucrative and competitive sector, that is increasingly regulated, relies on third-party agents, has complex global value chains that span multiple authorities, countries, and legal jurisdictions, and often suffers from weak control structures. All these factors combined paint a convincing picture of a sector that is highly exposed to corruption.