Yesterday NWC’s founder and executive director, Stephen M. Kohn, identified lack of law enforcement as the key driver of the Vaquita’s impending extinction, during an informative Capitol Hill briefing, “Wildlife Whistleblowing: A Game-Changer in the Enforcement of Wildlife Trafficking Laws.”
Staffers from Senators and Representatives’ offices attended the presentation on wildlife whistleblower reward laws, which covered how these laws can vastly improve the detection of wildlife crimes, and what actions are needed for the responsible government agencies to effectively implement them.
“Fishermen who wish to comply with regulations feel they are being undercut when illegal fishermen operate without constraints or punishment,” said Kohn. “It is crucial that potential whistleblowers, like these fisherman, have a safe and confidential process of reporting violations, and are supported and incentivized to do so.”
Through the Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, NWC is advocating for the responsible U.S. government agencies to set up an effective wildlife whistleblower program to implement the existing whistleblower reward provisions found in most U.S. wildlife protection laws. Rewarding wildlife whistleblowers would provide the protections and incentives to stop illegal fishing and other global wildlife crime.