Pirate fishing steals from poor and wrecks marine environment / by Francisco Blaha

Prevention, not cure

Although fishing vessels have names and other identifiers, these are not permanent and can be easily painted over and changed by their owners. This makes it incredibly difficult for authorities to recognise specific vessels engaged in illegal fishing and to track misconduct. Introducing mandatory, permanent ship registrations in accordance with standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the way to go.

Details on IMO identification number scheme.

Full article here