Publicly listed companies involved in illegal fishing practices, Planet Tracker reveals

Examining the limited role of stock exchanges in protecting investors and offering an alternative way for investors to assess their exposure to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

LONDON, 30 November 2021: Some publicly listed companies are partaking in illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing and, because most key stock exchanges lack the necessary regulation against IUU fishing, investors are exposed to significant financial risk, reveals financial think tank Planet Tracker in its latest report, Do You IUU?

There is a general expectation that listed companies are unable to undertake illegal activities while listed on a recognised stock exchange. This is false: listed companies may knowingly or unknowingly be involved in illegal activities. Planet Tracker found three listed companies presumed to have engaged in IUU fishing.

To empower investors to assess their exposure to IUU fishing, Planet Tracker has designed a toolkit that scores listed entities based on the number of potential IUU fishing red flags they accrue. The toolkit is available as an interactive online questionnaire a and in table format within the report.

The report also provides a deep dive into the operations of Pingtan Marine Enterprise, a company listed on the Nasdaq, to demonstrate the toolkit’s real-life application, revealing that it scores a critical 72% in the online toolkit (100% is the riskiest).

Since Pingtan Marine Enterprise was publicly accused of fraudulent activities including IUU fishing, its stock has lagged the S&P 500 by 93%.

The report calls on investors to appreciate the limit to which stock exchanges can protect them and, as such, practice due diligence in their investment decisions, while being aware that IUU fishing is often associated with other crimes, such as money laundering and human trafficking, which can have serious legal and financial repercussions.


Planet Tracker is an award-winning non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries. Created with the vision of a financial system that is fully aligned with a net zero, resilient, nature positive and just economy well before 2050, Planet Tracker generates breakthrough analytics that reveal both the role of capital markets in the degradation of our ecosystem and show the opportunities of transitioning to a zero-carbon, nature positive economy.

Seafood Tracker investigates the impact that financial institutions can have on sustainable corporate practices through their funding of publicly listed wild-catch and aquaculture companies. Its aim is to align capital markets with the sustainable management of ocean and coastal marine resources. This report focuses on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Seafood Tracker is a part of the wider Planet Tracker Group of Initiatives.


Media contact:

Ellie Hyman
Aspectus Group
+44 (0) 7890 072 773

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Planet Tracker is a non-profit financial think tank aligning capital markets with planetary boundaries. It was created in 2018 to investigate the risk of market failure related to environmental limits, focusing on oceans, food & land use and materials such as textiles and plastics.

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