In the U.S., you can’t slap a license plate on your car from a state you don’t live in. Not so for ships on the ocean. Of course, ships don’t have license plates; they have flags, but it’s not uncommon for a fishing vessel to fly a flag from a country that has no actual ties to the boat, the owner, or the captain behind the wheel.
Many countries have what’s called an open registry, which means they allow foreign vessels to register and fly their flags, so long as the vessel owner pays the fee and meets the registration requirements. Read more