About Us

A decade ago, building an open-access picture of global fishing activity was out of reach. But thanks to advances in satellite technology and machine learning, Global Fishing Watch is now making it a reality.

Our Vision

A healthy, productive and resilient ocean where transparency drives fair and effective governance of marine resources in support of biodiversity and sustainable development.

Our Mission

Global Fishing Watch is advancing ocean governance through increased transparency of human activity at sea. By creating and publicly sharing map visualizations, data and analysis tools, we enable scientific research and drive a transformation in how we manage our ocean. By 2030, we aim to monitor and visualize the impact of ocean-going vessels, both industrial and small-scale, that are responsible for the vast majority of the global seafood catch.

© Enric Sala / National Geographic

Our Purpose

The beauty of the ocean, the life it contains and the services and resources it provides are part of humanity’s shared heritage and shared future.

We believe human activity at sea should be common knowledge in order to safeguard the global ocean commons for the common good of all.

That’s why our purpose is to create and publicly share knowledge about human activity at sea to enable fair and sustainable use of our ocean.

Our History

Global Fishing Watch was founded in 2015 through a collaboration between three partners: Oceana, an international ocean conservation organization; SkyTruth, a technology firm that uses satellite imagery and data to protect the environment; and Google, whose tools and contributions help process big data. 

In June 2017, almost a year after being officially launched at the Our Ocean Conference hosted by the U.S. State Department, Global Fishing Watch was established as an independent, international nonprofit organization. 

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the Global Fishing Watch reception at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference. © Oceana/Grant Ellis


We aim  to expand fisheries transparency and understanding human activity at sea.

Map and Data

Our technology products support better marine spatial planning and ocean governance.

Our Technology

We are revolutionizing the ability to monitor commercial fishing, transshipment at sea, shipping and even forced labor abuses onboard vessels.

Our Approach


We create new knowledge by using cutting-edge technology to turn big data into actionable information.


We share information publicly, and for free, to accelerate science and drive fairer, smarter policies and practices that reward good behavior and protect biodiversity, fisheries and livelihoods. 


We promote international cooperation and transparency around ocean data to enable a new era of ocean governance.

“Global Fishing Watch is a godsend to ocean conservation. It is the only remote vessel tracking system that is global and publicly available. This is the beginning of the end of illegal fishing.”
Enric Sala picture
Dr. Enric Sala
Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society.

Our Partnerships

We are working together with governments, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations and the fishing sector to make the biggest impact possible.

“Armed with the information and thoughtful analysis provided by Global Fishing Watch we are able to focus scarce resources on the right targets, in the right place, at the right time. Simply put, Global Fishing Watch is a force multiplier.”
Rear Admiral Matthew Bell
U.S. Coast Guard
Scroll to Top