Standard for Ultimate Beneficial Ownership Reporting

Photo: Fishing nets in Heraklion, Greece by Jebulon.
Grantee The Center for Advanced Defense Studies
Grant Amount $700,000
Duration Two Years

Oceans 5 is supporting C4ADS and Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) in a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts to define and map ultimate beneficial ownership (UBO) in the fishing industry in an effort to establish a global standard for UBO reporting.

Knowing which companies and individuals ultimately own specific vessels and fleets is critical to effective regulation and enforcement in the fishing industry. But regulators' and enforcement agents' transparency and traceability efforts are often hindered by the absence of a universally agreed upon standard for defining and reporting beneficial ownership. This ultimately means that IUU operators can continue to fund and support illicit fishing activities with limited risk of detection. By standardizing a definition for beneficial ownership across the fishing sector and formalizing UBO reporting requirements, fishing companies can be held to a higher standard, preventing the continued exploitation of lax regulations to conduct exploitative or illegal fishing practices.

To that end, C4ADS, Pew, and TMT are working together to 1) understand how the term "ultimate beneficial ownership" should be defined in the context of fisheries, and 2) analyze the ownership networks of industrialized fishing fleets in several different countries in order to create a standard definition for UBO that can be incorporated into regulatory frameworks around the world.