We’re taking a big step today in welcoming our first permanent CEO. Tony Long has just taken the helm after five years with The Pew Charitable Trusts where he directed the End Illegal Fishing Project. Prior to that, he served 27 years in the British Royal Navy where his affinity with the ocean was born.
“We are delighted to welcome Tony Long to the team. His unique mix of skills, experience, and character make him the ideal fit for Global Fishing Watch,” said Brian Sullivan, Chairperson of the Global Fishing Watch Board of Directors. “Tony has a thorough understanding of vessel tracking and related technologies, maritime laws, IUU fishing issues and global geopolitics along with strong leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, and I am confident that he is the right person to lead Global Fishing Watch as we continue to scale our impact and reach since launching in 2016.”
Tony’s expertise stems from real-world experience. He has commanded naval aircraft and vessels and patrolled the Atlantic, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. His final role in the military was serving on the strategy team that advised the head of the Navy on issues such as the High North (Arctic). In that role, he was responsible for researching and understanding maritime security issues arising from environmental changes in the Arctic region.
His background provides him with an extensive understanding of satellite tracking technology. He honed his knowledge of fisheries regulations at Pew where he was instrumental in the development of Project Eyes on the Seas, a technology platform that provides custom, proprietary satellite tracking and monitoring services and other intelligence products to enforcement officials.
“Taking the helm of Global Fishing Watch is a very exciting and natural step for me,” said Tony. “The team here have made rapid and meaningful progress in building a platform that can improve fisheries management and get to the heart of the problem of fighting illegal fishing; namely promoting full transparency of fishing vessel activity.”
Partnering with the government of Indonesia to publish its proprietary vessel monitoring system data is a prime example of how Global Fishing Watch is singularly positioned to advance a new standard in public transparency.
Tony says his first steps will be to get to know the team and the system as he transitions to leading the newly formed organization. “We will make Global Fishing Watch the first-choice, publicly available technology platform for understanding the impact of fishing on ocean ecosystems and combating IUU fishing,” he said, adding “When I look at the Global Fishing Watch platform I see the ultimate collaboration tool; it can operate independently but we want to see Global Fishing Watch catalyze a united front between organisations to rapidly advance fisheries science, fisheries management and help address the loopholes in surveillance and transparency that allow IUU fishing to occur.”
Tony succeeds acting CEO, Paul Woods who led the development of Global Fishing Watch from its inception in 2014. Paul will continue to help lead Global Fishing Watch as our Chief Technology Officer.