WWF: Technologies to revolutionise fisheries monitoring and enforcement | WWF

WWF: Technologies to revolutionise fisheries monitoring and enforcement

Posted on 01 March 2016    
Global track of fishing vessel
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Auckland, New Zealand: How can aquatic and aerial drones, satellite remote sensing, video imaging, and laser applications benefit global fisheries? Fostering technological innovation across monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) of marine fisheries is the focus of this week’s WWF event in Auckland.
More than 140 participants from 32 different countries are attending the MCS Emerging Technologies Workshop, including MCS practitioners from military, government and private industry. Themed "Anything is Possible!", this workshop coincides with the International Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Network's 5th Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop and the Forum Fisheries Agency MCS Working Group Meeting.
To dually conserve marine ecosystems and promote sustainable long-term fisheries, the March 3-4 workshop aims to help participants learn about how new and developing technologies can benefit the existing MCS infrastructure and play an important role in defeating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
WWF believes that technology could be the driving force in improving the way that oceans are managed and seeks to position itself as one of the leaders in innovative change through disruptive technologies. 
“I am very excited about this event because it plants the seed of imagination in what we can achieve. This is about pushing the boundaries of what is possible using technology to secure the conservation of our oceans for future generations,” said Bubba Cook, WWF´s Western Central Pacific Tuna Programme Manager. “Participants have come together to help identify the right technologies for the right conditions to achieve an effective, efficient, and economical MCS programme,” he said.
Mr Cook said the event would explore new MCS technologies and advancements including varieties of aquatic and aerial drones, satellite remote sensing, video imaging, and even laser applications. 
"Transparency and traceability are crucial for good fisheries management. Governments worldwide should make the installation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) mandatory for every commercial fishing vessel to create transparency of fishing operations. Video monitoring of catch and discard as well as the use of AIS 24/7 will substantially increase safety at sea for the crew and observers on board fishing vessels,“said Alfred Schumm, WWF’s Smart Fishing Initiative leader.
Across huge expanses of ocean, capture fisheries amount to approximately 87 million tonnes, representing an estimated USD$129 billion in export value, globally. 
Mr Cook said the western and central Pacific tuna fisheries alone were conservatively worth approximately USD$6 billion a year in addition to being socially and culturally important to the Pacific Islands. 
“These staggering figures, and the increasing threat of IUU fishing poses, serve as the backdrop for this event,” he said.  
“As technologies rapidly advance and mature, the ocean gets much smaller and much more transparent through the use of technology. So, the net around illegal fishing gets ever tighter, ensuring that our fisheries resources are used sustainably,” he said.
This second MCS Emerging Technologies event is supported by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund. The first MCS Emerging Technologies Workshop took place in the Solomon Islands in 2014.
For more information: Alfred “Bubba” Cook, Western Central Pacific Ocean Tuna Programme Manager, WWF Smart Fishing Initiative, Email: acook@wwf.panda.org. Phone: +64 027 833 0537
Louisa McKerrow, Communications Manager, WWF-New Zealand. Email: lmckerrow@wwf.org.nz; +64 (0) 27 212 3103
The agenda of the workshop can be found here:
Global track of fishing vessel
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