Monitoring vessels & tracking catches

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Satellite tracking of fishing vessels in international waters
© WWF&Navama
Fishing should not be “out of sight, out of mind”—not when so many human lives and threatened ecosystems depend on the transformation “from overfishing to smart fishing.”

Good systems to monitor fishing activity and track fish catches are fundamental to the solutions we need. Technically known as “monitoring, control, and surveillance” (MCS), these systems not only allow fisheries managers to know what is going on, they provide the basic information consumers and seafood companies need to make responsible decisions about the fish products they buy and sell. And, of course, strong MCS is the first line of defense against pirate fishing.

Fortunately, the technology exists today to make monitoring fisheries and tracking catches possible and affordable. As one key part of the solution, WWF is working to promote the use of a new, effective, and inexpensive way to use satellite data to monitor global fisheries, known as the “Automatic Identification System” (AIS).  Find out more

Analysis of international fisheries trade information

In the context of IUU fishing, analysis of trade information is a potentially powerful tool to assess Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing activities and so assist efforts to combat them. Knowledge of the trade dynamic has the ability to shed light on issues such as the source, destination, value and volume of fisheries products in international trade.

Analysis of the trade in wildlife products has for some time been recognised as a valuable source of information contributing to the effective monitoring and regulation of natural resource use and trade, and as a means of gathering information that can be valuable in tackling IUU fishing (Willock et al., 2004). To date, however, there have been relatively few such analyses, whilst few governments incorporate fisheries trade data analysis into their monitoring, control and surveillance systems. TRAFFIC, with support from WWF, has produced an updated website to help governments and other stakeholders conduct "trade data analysis" as a tool to identify IUU hotspots and target trade in IUU products.

The site offers a compelling explanation of the trade data analysis approach, and provides detailed instructions for conducting analyses. The website can be accessed here. 

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