Pirate fishing is an entertainingly named but actually terrible scourge of the oceans.

“It leaves communities without much needed food and income and the marine environment smashed and empty,” according to Greenpeace, which has estimated that there are upwards of 1,000 illegal industrial-scale fishing ships at sea. “Pirate fishing compounds the global environmental damage from other destructive fisheries. Because they operate, quite literally, off the radar of any enforcement, the fishing techniques they use are destroying ocean life.” The practice is rampant in Central America and parts of Europe and Africa.

But now the super-intimidating international policing ubergroup INTERPOL is convening for the first time ever to talk about policing these pirates at next week’s International Fisheries Enforcement Conference in Lyon, France. “High-level Chiefs in the field of fisheries law enforcement are invited to join together with the aim of sharing expertise and strategies to prevent and combat fisheries crime,” says INTERPOL.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

More from Mission Blue:

This high level gathering will address questions like “What are the challenges of transnational organized fisheries crime and how can we fight it?” Fisheries managers from all over the world will collaborate and share strategies and information to build a future where reprehensible illegal fishing must answer to the law. INTERPOL will outline a program of National Environmental Security Security Task Forces that have real teeth to identify, apprehend and prosecute criminal activity on our high seas.

Great news for the oceans! And for the Discovery Network, because you know it’s like T minus a year or two until it finds extra-charismatic INTERPOL ocean cops to star in a high-stakes documentary series.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!