Protocol for the North Atlantic Fisheries Group

For this purpose, “fisheries” and “the fisheries sector” refers to commercial marine and freshwater fishing and/or harvesting and aquaculture (the farming or culturing of fish, mollusks, crustaceans and seaweed), and connected businesses.
The North Atlantic Fisheries Intelligence Group (NA-FIG) comprises a group of government agencies (“the member agencies”) with interests in the fisheries sector in the North Atlantic. For this purpose, the North Atlantic includes the North Sea. This work originates from the work carried out by the OECD’s Task Force on Tac Crimes and Other Crimes as published in Evading The Net:Tax Crimes in the Fisheries Sector published in 2013. The NA-FIG has its origins in that work and member agencies are from OECD countries bordering the North Atlantic.

The purpose and organisation of NA-FIG

  1. NA-FIG is a trans-organizational and trans-national Group in which the member agencies collaborate on the share of understanding, information and intelligence about the fisheries sector and related business areas for the purpose of combating criminality in the sector.
  2. The Group will appoint a chair of NA-FIG who will hold the post for a maximum period lasting no more than 5 years.
  3. The Group secretariat will be supplied by the appointed chair. No country shall provide the secretariat for more than 5 years.
  4. Membership of NA-FIG will be open to all government agencies in countries with a fisheries sector interest in the North Atlantic Area on adoption of this Protocol.
  5. Any member agency can withdraw from the NA-FIG at any given time.
  6. NA-FIG will create an international forum for member agencies concerned with the monitoring and
    control of the fisheries sector.

The Scope of NA-FIG

  1. The Group aims to support member agencies by:
    • Creating a forum to stimulate international cooperation between authorities.
    • Encouraging improved share of strategic intelligence.
    • Driving a change in the behavior of those engaged in criminality within the sector
  2. The group will seek to:
    • Establish a network of experts and intelligence analysts.
    • Support OECD/TFTC capacity building by:
      1. Inputting to basic and intermediate training for intelligence-based cooperation and sharing of information.
      2. Providing specialist training on the general understanding of the fishing sector and cooperation between agencies, international organizations, and bilateral/multilateral cooperation.
      3. Providing expert instructors for all levels of training.

Membership of NA-FIG

NA-FIG membership is open to agencies from countries concerned with monitoring value chains that exist within the fisheries sector in accordance with the principles outlined in the 2013 OECD report “Evading the net: Tax Crime in the Fisheries Sector”. Member authorities will include:

  1. Tax administrations
  2. Customs administrations
  3. Fisheries authorities
  4. Any other relevant authority or agency with interests in the fisheries sector

Adherence to existing international agreememnts and protocols

  1. Member tax agencies will abide by the formal competent authority protocols that exist within the relevant bilateral/multilateral tax treaties and conventions.
  2. Member customs agencies will abide by the formal procedures that exist within customs mutual administrative assistance arrangements.
  3. Member fisheries and marine management agencies will abide by the relevant data sharing agreements appropriate to each authority.
  4. Any other relevant authority or agency will abide by the relevant data sharing agreements appropriate to each authority or agency.
  5. This Protocol does not in itself provide a mechanism or authority for dissemination of intelligence.