Programs 2020-03-23T14:17:38-04:00
Our global programs focus on expanding fisheries transparency and understanding the behaviors of commercial fishing vessels in order to advance ocean sustainability and stewardship.

Transparency program

Sharing Vessel Monitoring
System data is paving
the way for more
fisheries transparency

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Most fishing nations collect Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data to track commercial fishing activity in their nation’s waters but typically do not make that information public. This data is owned by the national government and includes information on the country’s commercial fishing fleet and foreign vessels registered to fish in their waters.

We are committed to processing and publishing VMS data from any nation committed to taking this bold step toward transparency. Global Fishing Watch aims to partner with 20 countries within the next 5 years to make their VMS data public and receive the support of our platform. Going “transparent” will mean for those governments that monitoring becomes cheaper, more effective, and that responsible fishing is rewarded. Bad actors will stand out more clearly and can be penalized appropriately.

Groundbreaking analysis

The first public global
footprint of transshipment
at sea is generating new
research and action

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We partner with over 10 research institutions to apply our data to answering the most pressing questions in fisheries and ocean management. We’ve already published over 25 peer-reviewed scientific papers with our data, with several more currently in the works. 

By making our data freely accessible, we are stimulating further research by other individuals and organizations and turning what we are learning into actionable knowledge that is making a difference in fisheries management, seafood sourcing, and ocean conservation. 

Monitoring protected areas

Global Fishing Watch, along with governments, other non-profits, scientists, and others, have been applying our data to help create new MPAs and maintain existing ones

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GFW Icon 24Analysis

Our Analytical Cell is grounded in the belief that sharing data and working collaboratively will help break down barriers that currently exist between States and that illegal fishers exploit and hide behind.

The Analytical Cell translates data and technology into insights and evidence that can help coastal and under-resourced States better understand fishing activity, improve governance and aid monitoring of marine protected areas. The Analytical Cell collaborates with established agencies and experts to support governmental efforts to better understand their fisheries, and embrace transparency through publicly sharing fishing activity and marine data.