No matter what the industry, increasing transparency is always met with some anxiety from some corners. These are the concerns we’ve heard:
- Sharing VMS is an invasion of privacy and it reveals fishing grounds to competitors. Larger vessels fishing are already required to reveal this information by carrying publicly broadcast AIS. In addition, vessels fishing in other countries, such as the European Union, are already operating under this level of transparency.
Won’t sharing VMS simply force bad guys to turn off their VMS, undermining those who play by the rules and creating unfair competition? On the contrary, turning off VMS will raise suspicion among authorities and draw attention to illegal activity.