Global Fishing Watch products include the geographic boundaries of areas of interest to enable spatial analysis of fishing activity throughout the world’s oceans as reference layers.
These reference layers are incorporated from external sources, often the organizations that define and manage the geographic boundaries or, if unavailable, then the leaders in maintaining documentation of the generally defined areas. Global Fishing Watch works to maintain these sources by reviewing and updating any changes annually, with the exception of a monthly update to the marine protected area (MPA) layer (see below for further information). Global Fishing Watch makes all efforts to obtain the most accurate source information, however, we do not assume responsibility for any changes to the shapefiles conducted by the sources.
Please see below for the source information. Any future updates to these layers will be reflected here.
EEZs – Exclusive economic zones
Layer name – EEZs
Short description – Maritime exclusive economic zones (200 nautical mile boundary) for all coastal nations.
Citation – Flanders Marine Institute (2020). Union of the ESRI Country shapefile and the Exclusive Economic Zones (version 3). Available online at https://www.marineregions.org/. https://doi.org/10.14284/403. Consulted on 2022-11-29.
Attribution – Copyright Flanders Marine Institute (2020) – marineregions.org.
Last updated – 2020-03-17
Notes – In the current version we’re manually cutting the EEZ polygons that contain the land of each country with a landmass buffered inwards (~30km). This gives us polygons more similar to the sea-only version with far less complexity around the coast. Reducing coast complexity makes reports and analyses much faster and more precise.
MPAs – Marine protected areas
Layer name – MPAs
Short description – Marine protected areas from The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via protectedplanet.net
Citation – UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2022), Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (WD-OECM) [Online], August 2022, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN. Available at: www.protectedplanet.net.
Attribution – You must ensure that one of the following citations is always clearly reproduced in any publication or analysis involving the Protected Planet Materials in any derived form or format. Use this citation for any downloads of Protected Planet Materials from ProtectedPlanet.net: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (year), Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], [insert month/year of the version downloaded], Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN. Available at: www.protectedplanet.net.
Last updated – Updated monthly on the 1st of each month
License – Non-commercial use https://www.protectedplanet.net/en/legal
Notes – N/A
RFMOs – Regional Fisheries Management Organizations
Layer name – RFMOs
Short description – Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs)
For individual RFMOs, use this URL template
Citation – © FAO, 2019. FAO Regional Fishery Bodies. [RFMO Name]. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (FI) [online]. Rome. Updated 2019-02-21 [Cited <DATE>]
Attribution – © FAO, 2019. FAO Regional Fishery Bodies.
Last updated – 2019-02-21
License – Public
Four RFMOs within this layer were added from sources outside of the FAO. These include the CCSBT Primary Area, IOTC, and NPFC.
CCSBT is defined as the CCSBT Statistical Areas used by the RFMO. This and the CCSBT Primary Area, a subset of the Statistical Areas, were provided through correspondence with the CCSBT Secretariat. These areas are not a designated Convention Area, but the primary area of Southern Bluefin Tuna distribution. Last Updated: 2022-03-24
The NPFC Convention Area was taken directly from the NPFC website: https://www.npfc.int/about_npfc/convention_and_npfc_area_of_application/npfc-shape-file
The IOTC Convention Area was developed by GFW using the Area of Competence defined here: https://iotc.org/about-iotc/competence
The ICCAT Convention Area was provided directly by the ICCAT Secretariat on 2022-08-25.
FAO major fishing areas
Layer name – FAO
Short description – FAO MAJOR Statistical Areas
Source – FAO Map Catalog
Citation – © FAO, 2020. FAO Statistical Areas for Fishery Purposes. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. [Cited <DATE>] http://www.fao.org/fishery/area/search/en
Attribution – © FAO, 2020
Last updated – Manual update 2022-01-19, original source revision date 2014-04-17
License – Public
Notes – To reduce any error between fishing area layer and land boundaries, we merged them together
Layer name – High Seas
Short description – World High Seas v1
Citation – Flanders Marine Institute (2020). Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase: High Seas, version 1. Available online at https://www.marineregions.org/ https://doi.org/10.14284/418.
Attribution – Copyright Flanders Marine Institute – http://marineregions.org
Last updated – 2020-08-26
Notes – Major high seas pockets (areas of high seas surrounded by other non-high seas areas) are embedded within this layer.