Purple Notice issued about shark finning. (Photo: INTERPOL)
Interpol issues purple notice to warn about shark finning
Monday, November 11, 2013, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
After a “shark finning” method was identified by Costa Rican authorities, Interpol released a warning among its 190 member countries aimed at avoiding the detection of illegal practices.
The purple notice that has been circulated by Interpol describes a modus operandi of the technique used where only a band of skin to keep the fin attached to the spine is retained and the remainder of the body is discarded at sea. This method is aimed at circumventing legislation banning finning which states that the fins of the shark must be ‘naturally attached’ to the body.
The case was identified by the Costa Rican National Coast Guard and was presented by the head of the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in San José, during the second Interpol Fisheries Crime Working Group meeting, which opened in Nairobi, Kenya, on 4 November.
“This is an opportunity to encourage other member countries to share types of modus operandi in order to alert enforcement authorities to environmental crimes,” expressed head of NCB San José Gustavo Chinchilla. “I strongly believe that international cooperation and use of Interpol´s tools, such as purple notices, allow us to provide a more coordinated and effective response to addressing fisheries issues.”
The purple notice, which is helpful to seek or provide information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals, was requested by Costa Rica following its first National Environmental Security Seminar held in San José in August of this year.
“This is now the second purple notice issued in relation to fisheries crime, and we hope that it will encourage other member countries to make increased use of Interpol notices to combat all types of environmental crime,” pointed out David Higgins, head of Interpol’s Environmental Security unit.
The purple notice was issued under the Interpol’s Project Scale, a global initiative to detect, suppress and combat fisheries crime, which is estimated to cost the global economy up to USD 23 billion each year and is linked to other forms of organized and transnational crime including corruption, money laundering, document fraud, and human and drug trafficking.
This Project was launched in February 2013 and is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US Department of State and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Its aim is to raise awareness of fisheries crime and besides, it coordinates operations to target this criminal activity, disrupt trafficking routes and harmonize national and regional enforcement efforts.
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