Transparency is crucial for good stewardship of our global ocean—to fight illegal fishing, to protect fish stocks and livelihoods, and to increase the safety and well-being of fishers. We are committed to promoting international cooperation and transparency around ocean data towards a new era of ocean governance.
About our Transparency Program
Tracking – All vessels should be publicly trackable using automatic identification systems, vessel monitoring systems, or any other viable system.
Identification – All vessels should be allocated with a unique vessel identifier that follows a vessel from construction to scrapping
Registration – Public vessel registers should be maintained with up-to-date authorization details and all relevant data should be submitted to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels.
Authorization – Authorizations to fish and transship catch should be made public and readily available to ensure decision makers can validate vessels quickly and effectively.
Compliance – Vessels that have been identified as engaged in illegal, unreported or unregulated activity should be listed publicly.
Global Fishing Watch primarily uses publicly broadcast automatic identification system, or AIS, data to track fishing vessel movements. While AIS is required for industrial-sized vessels (more than 300 gross tonnes) that are responsible for the majority of the global catch, adding vessel monitoring system (VMS) data, which is now required by many governments, can provide an even clearer view of what is taking place across the ocean.
Global Fishing Watch is committed to bringing countries from around the globe into our transparency program to advance responsible fisheries management. We are working with governments to publish their vessel monitoring system data to our platform to strengthen monitoring and support enforcement. We encourage governments to publish their authorized vessel lists and transshipment authorizations and to require the use of unique vessel identifiers, such as the IMO number.
Making vessel activity publicly trackable is a critical step for countries that are committed to achieving greater transparency in fisheries. When countries share their vessel data on the Global Fishing Watch map, we can create a more complete and connected picture of global fishing activity.
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.
Global Fishing Watch partners with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Decade of Ocean Science to bring digital innovation to fisheries monitoring Commercial fishing is vital to the food security, livelihoods
To better visualize activity at sea, Global Fishing Watch engineers new technology to power updated map Despite its overwhelming benefits and the value it brings to all life on Earth, the ocean remains one of
Global Fishing Watch is using radar data to detect fishing vessels hidden from monitoring systems Global Fishing Watch is working to transform fisheries governance by harnessing satellite data to publicly show the movements of fishing
Oceana and Global Fishing Watch applaud Belize’s leadership on fisheries transparency Belize City, Belize. – The Belize High Seas Fisheries Unit (BHSFU) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make its vessel tracking data