Peru’s Fishing Fleet Becomes Visible to the World

We partnered with Peru—the world’s second largest fishing nation—to make its fisheries transparent


The Issue

Peru is a superpower when it comes to fishing—ranked second only to China when it comes to volume of catch. The country’s extraordinarily productive waters are home to the world’s largest single-species fishery, the anchoveta, as well as other globally important fisheries including mahi-mahi and giant squid.

For Peru’s seas to continue to thrive in the future, it is vital that the country is able to effectively manage and monitor fishing activity within its waters, both foreign and domestic fleets.

Our Work

In 2017, Peru became the first country in Latin America—and only the second in the world—to share data from its vessel monitoring system (VMS) on the Global Fishing Watch map. By sharing its tracking data, Peru made the location and movements of more than 1,800 fishing vessels publicly visible. This enables more effective monitoring, control and surveillance of their waters and also allows fishers to better demonstrate compliance with regulations.

Since 2018, all commercial fishing vessels that dock in Peruvian ports have had to use VMS devices. The government is now seeking to make the small-scale fishing fleet more transparent too, which will allow even more vessels to be illuminated on our map and further improve understanding of what is happening in the country’s waters.

Peru is also using Global Fishing Watch technology to track vessels using night-time imagery—especially useful for monitoring squid fisheries, where vessels use bright lights at night.

As part of the partnership, we trained Peruvian port authorities to use our data and tools to address key challenges in their waters, including the pursuit of specific cases of illegal fishing. Our data has also contributed to scientific research and the designation of the country’s largest marine reserve, the 60,000 square kilometers (23,166 square miles)  Dorsal de Nasca Natural Reserve.

"The collaboration with Global Fishing Watch has strengthened the skills of technicians, analysts, and engineers who are monitoring fishing activity every day."

José Luis Herrera,Specialist of SISESAT, PRODUCE. March 2022

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