Promoting ocean transparency together

Our collaboration with Panama began in March 2019 when we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Panama Aquatic Resources Authority (ARAP) to harness the power of satellites and cutting-edge technology to strengthen the monitoring of the Panamanian international fishing fleet.

Some 350 vessels—both fishing and cargo—were made visible on the Global Fishing Watch map in October 2019, marking a transparency milestone for one of the largest open registries in the world.

Panama is uniquely positioned in terms of geography, serving as a bridge between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and boasting more than 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) of coastline. It plays a significant role when it comes to transshipment, providing registrations for support vessels that are used to receive catches at sea and transport them to port. Publishing the monitoring data of these vessels on the Global Fishing Watch map has been vital to Panama’s monitoring and control efforts, culminating in a call by Panamanian authorities for more countries to commit to fisheries transparency.

The joint work between Panama and Global Fishing Watch aims to show how transparency can help combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and improve the monitoring and sustainability of fisheries.


Sharing fishing vessel data

since October 2019



vessels monitored


1,547 miles

of coastline

How we support Panama

To support Panama in its efforts to comply with international regulations and commitment to tackle IUU fishing, Global Fishing Watch and ARAP developed a joint work plan that empowers authorities in their monitoring activities of the Panamanian international fleet and helps assess compliance with applicable laws.

Global Fishing Watch provides technical support to Panama through reports that identify vessels of interest and verify, in detail, the type of activity that the vessel engaged in, including registration of encounters, drifting events or port visits.

ARAP and Global Fishing Watch continue to work together by publishing the positions of the long-distance Panamanian fishing fleet in near real-time. Fishing effort data is rapidly processed and subsequently displayed in the Global Fishing Watch map just 72 hours after received, which includes an information layer that shows the positions of Panamanian cargo ships around the world.

We look forward to our shared work ahead and remain committed to providing ARAP officials with advanced training on our technology portals.

In 2019, Indonesia apprehended the Panamanian-flagged vessel MV NIKA, which was wanted in several jurisdictions. Its capture was achieved thanks to international cooperation between INTERPOL, Indonesia, the authorities of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the United Kingdom, Korea, and Panama, together with the experience in vessel monitoring from Global Fishing Watch.

Recent work

Torch Passed to Panama for Major Ocean Conference

H.E. Mr. Milciades Concepción Lopez, Minister of Environment, Republic of Panama With the global ocean under unprecedented pressure from overfishing, climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, this week leaders in government, business, and civil society

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