Latin America

Latin America is a region intertwined with the ocean. With more than 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometers) of coastline, it is no surprise that its communities, economies and cultural identities are intrinsically linked to the sea.

Positioned across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Latin America’s surrounding waters are habitats for economically important fisheries such as anchovy, salmon and squid. These rich fishing grounds provide the rest of the world with a significant amount of seafood—approximately 11 percent of the world’s fishery and aquaculture production comes from the region—with Peru and Chile both listed in the top ten of the world’s capture producers. But these fish stocks are threatened by illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which is a serious problem for many countries in the region and accounting for up to $23.5 billion annually.

Global Fishing Watch is working with partner countries across Latin America to create a more complete understanding of fishing activity taking place throughout their waters. Using the power of satellite technology and cutting-edge machine learning, our visualization and analysis tools are helping governments and maritime security agencies strengthen maritime control and surveillance and meet sustainability goals.

Our data-sharing initiative is at the heart of our work in Latin America as we encourage countries to join leaders in the region—Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Peru—to publish their vessel monitoring system data on the Global Fishing Watch map. Making vessel activity publicly trackable is a critical step to achieving greater transparency in fisheries. When countries share their vessel data—industrial or small-scale—we can create a more accurate and connected picture of global fishing activity.

Located throughout the region, our team of experts use big data processing and machine learning to provide partner governments with analysis reports, fisheries monitoring tools and staff training to help authorities use and benefit from our technology.

fishing seasonWhen the fishing season for Peruvian anchovy begins, purse seiner vessels leave port to go fish for the tiny blue fish. © Juan Carlos Sueiro

The Search for Squid

The waters off South America are home to some of the most lucrative fisheries in the world—one of the most well known is that of jumbo or Humboldt squid. Each year, distant water fleets journey thousands of miles in search of this large, migratory creature that resides in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Sustainable management of squid fisheries depends on a culture of transparency. By improving access to vessel information, we can create a more accurate picture of fishing effort to support research and bolster monitoring and control efforts. Global Fishing Watch seeks to make this information publicly available so that every scientist, enforcement agency and policymaker around the world has a powerful tool to help safeguard the ocean.

Recent work

Mapping a New World

Tony Long, Global Fishing Watch’s chief executive officer, finds cause for gravity but also hope as we look to the Decade of Ocean Science and a growing consensus that our future—and the course ahead for


By embracing transparency, nations have a more cost-effective way of monitoring vessels and enhancing maritime domain awareness.

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