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Ending Forced Labor in Fishing

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Funding Year: 2019

Research Areas: Other, Oceans

Regions: No Continent

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing can account for as much as one-third of seafood imports in major markets, and has contributed to more than a third of global fish stocks being overfished. Labor abuse in fisheries is also pervasive, with nearly 75 percent of workers reporting illegal overwork, underpay and debt bondage.


This project will analyze the effectiveness of existing practices and policies across the supply chain – from recruitment to market – to determine how companies and policymakers could better design interventions to reduce forced labor in tuna fisheries. The researchers will use big data platforms to assess the effectiveness of interventions at sea, such as vessel monitoring, and will examine how market mechanisms could be used to incentivize greater transparency and traceability across tuna supply chains.  

Learn more about the Realizing Environmental Innovation Program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

James Leape (Center for Ocean Solutions) 

David Cohen (Humanities and Sciences, Handa Center for Human Rights)

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