Last week our Chief Technology Officer Paul Woods and Google’s lead on the project, Brian Sullivan traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, to participate in the South-East Asia and Pacific Regional Fisheries Summit. As part of the Economist Events’ World Ocean Initiative, the meetings brought together government, industry, the financial sector and scientists for two days of discussions on a wide array of topics related to fisheries reform across South-East Asia and the adjacent Western Pacific.
The summit was a big success for Global Fishing Watch. The demonstration of our tracking tool presented by Brian and Paul was well-received and generated a lot of interest. But what’s more, we walked away with real commitments to combat IUU fishing through transparency and tracking.
We established our first industry partnership. Through an agreement with Bali Seafood and Pelagic Data Systems, low cost, solar powered, cellular transponders will be placed on 100 vessels that sell to Bali Seafood. Their movements and fishing events will be published in Global Fishing Watch in what is now the largest artisanal transparency pilot project in the pacific region.
As Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti addressed participants, she stressed the need for regional cooperation, data sharing and transparency. “Every country should give their data to Google to make it public,” she said, looking while looking directly at her fellow ministers from neighboring countries.
On social media, Paul and Brian’s demonstration of Global Fishing Watch hit the twittersphere. The Economist featured Brian in one of four tweeted interview clips, and repurposed our “State of Fisheries” slide.
Roy Palmer, CEO of Seafood Experience Australia called it the highlight of his day in his blog post for SeaFoodSource.com adding, “after this presentation, I do not think the fishing industry will ever be the same.”