One of the most important and effective tools to uncover and prevent marine pollution is the U.S. Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (“APPS”), which allows a whistleblower, whether a U.S. citizen or a foreign national, that gives information on marine pollution to potentially collect up to half of any fine collected upon successful conviction. Another important tool used to protect marine areas and related wildlife is the Lacey Act, which imposes monetary penalties on individuals and companies for trafficking in certain fish, wildlife, and plants that were illegally taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of U.S. law, including through IUU fishing. The Lacey Act also provides for whistleblower rewards based on the monies collected by the federal government as a result of the whistleblower’s information.
The National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) works with whistleblowers, including wildlife whistleblowers, who report potential violations of APPS and wildlife laws such as the Lacey Act through the operation of the National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund (“NWLDEF”) Whistleblower Legal Assistance Program. NWC is a U.S. non-partisan, nonprofit organization that has worked for over thirty years to promote whistleblower rights and protections through litigation, legislative advocacy, and public education. NWC was a grand prize winner in the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, which was a USAID initiative in partnership with National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC.
NWC’s secure and confidential reporting system allows whistleblowers to confidentially disclose potential wrongdoing to staff attorneys at NWLDEF, who will review their claims. The Whistleblower Legal Assistance Program connects whistleblowers in search of competent counsel to attorneys that handle whistleblower cases across the nation. Although neither NWC nor NWLDEF’s staff attorneys represent you unless you have signed a formal written representation agreement, all communications with NWLDEF are considered confidential under the attorney-client privilege.
If you are a whistleblower and wish to disclose potential wrongdoing or retaliation, you can submit a free, confidential report here. If you do not wish to submit this form online, you may print it out, fill in the answers and send it via postal service to:
P.O. Box 25090
Washington, DC 20027
Please note, any materials submitted by mail to the NWLDEF cannot be returned.