Peru commits to publish vessel tracking data through Global Fishing Watch

Recently the Peruvian government made a public commitment to make its national vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch, which provides the first global view of commercial fishing* activity. The commitment, which was announced at The Ocean Conference hosted by the United Nations in New York City, is the result of Oceana’s collaboration with the Peruvian government to increase transparency of commercial fishing in Peru’s waters. 

“Peru has committed to join Global Fishing Watch as a demonstration of transparency,” said Héctor Soldi, Vice Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture for Peru’s Ministry of Production. “This technology platform, based on satellite data from fishing vessels to create a global vision of commercial fishing, enables anyone to follow fishing activity anywhere on the oceans. This is another demonstration of the Peruvian government’s commitment to fight illegal activities at sea and promote the sustainable use of the extraordinary marine productivity on our coastline. The Peruvian government intends to make the utmost effort to achieve the sustainable management of our fisheries in order to increase its contribution to nutrition and global food security.”

“Oceana has worked closely with the Peruvian government to convey the importance of transparency on our oceans, especially with regard to fishing activities,” said Patricia Majluf, Vice President of Oceana Peru. “Everyone should have access to the most comprehensive data available to best manage our fisheries and protect our ocean resources. Combined with Peru’s vessel tracking data, Global Fishing Watch will offer an invaluable depiction of what is happening in our waters. This is a huge step for Peru to emerge as a world leader in promoting transparency at sea.”

Also today, Indonesia made its vessel tracking data public and available for the first time through Global Fishing Watch. Anyone can now view Indonesia’s vessel tracking data here. Indonesia was the first country to commit to publishing its vessel tracking data in Global Fishing Watch.

“We applaud the commitments by Peru and Indonesia to release their previously private vessel tracking data and encourage other countries to follow their lead,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Vice President, Oceana (U.S. and Global Fishing Watch). “Together, with forward-thinking governments like these, we can bring greater transparency to the oceans. By publishing fishing data, governments and citizens can unite to help combat illegal fishing worldwide. With more eyes on the ocean, there are fewer places for illegal fishers to hide.”

Global Fishing Watch uses public broadcast data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS), collected by satellite and terrestrial receivers, to show the movement of vessels over time. Global Fishing Watch uses this information to track vessel movement and classify it as “fishing” or “non-fishing” activity. 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 some governments, to the Global Fishing Watch platform will provide the world with an even clearer view of fishing activity on our oceans. Together, AIS and VMS data offer the most accurate and comprehensive dataset. The announcement today will improve the information available to governments, fishery managers, seafood suppliers and buyers, journalists, researchers, nonprofit organizations and citizens around the world. 

“Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports efforts to restore balance to marine ecosystems across the globe,” said Justin Winters, Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “There are far too many areas of our oceans on the brink of total collapse because of illegal and overfishing activity. In order to implement solutions that protect these vulnerable habitats and marine life, the global community needs to see what is actually happening beyond the horizon. International leaders should follow the leads of Indonesia and Peru to prioritize transparency at sea.”

“Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative supports a groundbreaking approach to reform both local and industrial fishing simultaneously. Our approach relies on and leverages transparency and accountability on the international, national and local levels,” said Antha Williams, Head of Environmental Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “These announcements from two of the world’s largest fishing nations are a significant, encouraging step. We hope that other countries will follow their lead.”

“Around the world, we are seeing how countries that implement science-based policies are restoring the productivity of their fisheries and bringing life back to the seas,” said Molly McUsic, president of the Wyss Foundation. “These commitments from Peru and Indonesia are milestones in the global movement toward healthier oceans. These commitments will improve transparency, enable better management and decision-making, and yield economic and environmental benefits.” 

Funding partners for Global Fishing Watch include the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Wyss Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation and Adessium Foundation. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and The Wyss Foundation are also funders of Oceana’s work in Peru.

Visit Global Fishing Watch here.

*Any and all references to “fishing” should be understood in the context of Global Fishing Watch’s fishing detection algorithm, which is a best effort to determine “apparent fishing effort” based on vessel speed and direction data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) collected via satellites and terrestrial receivers. As AIS data varies in completeness, accuracy, and quality, it is possible that some fishing effort is not identified and conversely, that some fishing effort identified is not fishing. For these reasons, Global Fishing Watch qualifies all designations of vessel fishing effort, including synonyms of the term “fishing effort,” such as “fishing” or “fishing activity,” as “apparent,” rather than certain. Any/all Global Fishing Watch information about “apparent fishing effort” should be considered an estimate and must be relied upon solely at your own risk. Global Fishing Watch is taking steps to make sure fishing effort designations are as accurate as possible.

Last updated June 30, 2017

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