Source: Global Fish Watch
Author: Samantha Emmert
Global Fishing Watch and Oceana applaud Peru’s leadership on fisheries transparency
As world leaders prepare to gather in Bali, Indonesia for the fifth-annual Our Ocean conference, Peru has taken bold action to make its national vessel tracking data publicly available for the first time through Global Fishing Watch (GFW). Anyone can now view Peru’s commercial fishing vessels via GFW’s map platform, in near real time, for free.
At least 1,300 of Peru’s industrial fishing vessels, most of which were previously undetected by GFW’s Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, are now visible on the public map. For Peru alone, that is a ten-fold increase in the number of vessels that are now publicly trackable via GFW, which will aid national monitoring and control efforts, including combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The host of Our Ocean 2018, Indonesia, became the first country to make its proprietary vessel tracking data available via GFW in 2017, instantly putting 5,000 smaller fishing vessels that do not use AIS on the GFW map. Peru is now the second nation to share its vessel tracking data via GFW.
GFW uses publicly broadcast AIS data to track fishing vessel movements. While AIS is required for the largest vessels that catch a disproportionately large amount of fish, adding Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data, which is required by many governments, to the GFW map provides an even clearer view of global fishing activity.
“By bringing their vessel tracking data into the public realm, Peru has taken a significant step forward in making transparency in fisheries the norm rather than the exception,” said Tony Long, CEO, Global Fishing Watch. “Peru will also be using our night-time imagery data to reveal brightly lit fishing vessels operating at night. We commend Peru’s use of our map and data capabilities to enhance their existing systems and strengthen monitoring in their waters and the adjacent high seas.”
Peru is the world’s second largest fishing nation after China and home to one of the world’s largest single stock fisheries – the anchoveta. Oceana, a founding partner of GFW, has worked closely with the Peruvian government to increase transparency of commercial fishing in the country’s waters.
“We are heartened that our government will be among the first to take full advantage of Global Fishing Watch,” said Patricia Majluf, Vice President, Oceana Peru. “Increased transparency will help ensure Peruvians see the full benefits of our rich fisheries now, and in the future.”
Peru’s efforts come after the Canadian government’s formal statement of support for the work of GFW at the G7 ministerial meeting in Halifax earlier this month, and their commitment to encourage better data sharing, improved science and invest up to $11.6 million to combat IUU fishing.
“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,” added Tony Long. “Global Fishing Watch is committed to bringing 20 countries into our Transparency Program by 2022 to advance responsible fisheries management. We urge other nations to follow the lead set by Indonesia, Peru and Canada.”
“We are entering the age of transparency and it is an empowering concept that can transform business as we know it, and that includes helping to manage fisheries sustainably so that we can save the oceans and feed the world,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Chief Policy Officer at Oceana and co-founder of Global Fishing Watch.