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.
commits to sharing VMS data
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.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands becomes first Pacific island nation to publish fishing activity to Global Fishing Watch Map
Global Fishing Watch commends the Republic of Marshall Islands’ leadership toward fisheries transparency KOROR, THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU – The Republic of the Marshall Islands has committed to sharing its vessel monitoring data on Global
As the FAO and its Member States develop voluntary measures on transshipment, experience from the ground informs four key recommendations This year, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and its Member States
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
African Nations to Use New Technology in Tightening Port Controls, Fighting Illegal Fishing With Big Data
Pilot project delivers new vessel tracking technology and analysis where limited resources hamper detection and enforcement efforts Dakar, Senegal – Four African nations and a regional fisheries organization are harnessing new technology to strengthen port