About the Carrier Vessel Portal
Global Fishing Watch and The Pew Charitable Trusts are working together to improve understanding and management of transshipment at sea through greater transparency, monitoring, and analysis of the activity.
As part of these efforts, the two organizations have developed a public portal to help policymakers and fishery managers better comprehend the activities of carrier vessels that take on catch from commercial fishing vessels and deliver it to ports worldwide for processing.
The transfer of catch between vessels, called transshipment, is a vital part of the global fishing industry, but it often takes place on the high seas, outside the view and reach of authorities—making it harder for them to verify that the amount and type of fish product transferred is lawful and sustainable.
The carrier vessel portal uses satellite technology, machine learning, and up-to-date vessel authorization databases to give users consolidated information on carrier vessels’ activities, allowing them to analyze vessel tracks and see which ports are most frequented. By using the portal, fishery managers can improve how they monitor and regulate this important part of the seafood supply chain.
The portal provides a valuable tool for managers that seek to verify transshipment activities, helping to reduce opportunities for unauthorized transfers of fish products and identify when such activity is not being adequately reported.
In particular, the carrier vessel portal can give policymakers of the five tuna regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) a better understanding of transshipment activities in their respective waters. The RFMOs combined are responsible for managing fisheries in more than 90 percent of the world’s ocean. With the portal, RFMO managers can easily cross check publicly available information with vessel monitoring system data and the national and observer reports they already receive.