What We Know About Maritime Illicit Trades is the second in a series of reports as part of the Transnational Organized Crime at Sea: New Evidence for Better Responses project. The project is a collaboration between SafeSeas and the One Earth Future Foundation’s Stable Seas program and is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS) and the One Earth Future Foundation.
Similar to our previous report on piracy, this paper provides an overview of what we know about maritime illicit trades, how data is collected, what information is available, and which organizations are analyzing these data.
The list of intergovernmental organizations, governments, and nongovernmental organizations described in the paper is by no means exhaustive. The scope of the issue is exceptionally broad. Many of these efforts attempt to address the accessibility of data and gaps left by the larger data-collection and reporting initiatives.
The paper finds there are a number of problematic features of data for these issues – including a lack of availability; dis-aggregation and diversity of data; problems of compliance and reporting; and a focus on quantitative data.