Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is a UK based registered charity working internationally, addressing issues that link environmental security and human rights, focusing on the global south. EJF’s campaigns include addressing illegal fishing (IUU) and associated human rights abuses, sustainability, and rights issues associated with shrimp production. EJF’s work on fisheries focuses on effective implementation of the European Union IUU Regulation, illegal fishing in the Gulf of Guinea, ending illegal fishing and human rights abuses in the Thai seafood sector, promotion of best practices across the wider Asian region, and an initiative towards greater transparency and traceability in marine fisheries. As part of this project, EJF is calling for a suite of actions: mandatory application of Unique Vessel Identifiers (UVIs) and the development of a Global Record for fishing vessels, the near-term adoption of digital systems in fisheries management, and an end to the exploitation of Flags of Convenience.
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In an effort to combat illegal fishing around the world, exactAIS provides immediate identification of non-cooperative IUU vessels in the vicinity of legitimate fishing vessels, allowing for a more targeted response. They also provide data that allows authorities to identify spoofed position reports when comparing a vessel’s reported latitude and longitude, and provide extended surveillance range beyond traditional methods to include areas where vessels are not intended to be fishing.
exactEarth has also partnered with DigitalGlobe to develop a vessel observation and intelligence mapping software that uses AIS and oceanographic data to provide a comprehensive view of both vessel behavior as well as atmospheric and ocean conditions. Their program has infringement zone alerts that will identify when vessels are present in EEZs, marine protected areas, etc.
The Fisheries Language for Universal Exchange (FLUX) provides a harmonized message standard that allows Fishery Management Organizations to automatically access the electronic data from fishing vessels, such as vessel and trip identification, fishing operations (daily catch or haul-by-haul) or fishing data (catch area, species and quantity, date and time, and gear used). With this standard, Fisheries Management Organizations around the world have a communication tool to automate the collection and dissemination of the fishery catch data needed for sustainable fishery management and for detecting and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. In addition, the development of a reliable and up-to-date database on fish catch will improve research on science-based fishery management. Governments, regional and international organizations, RFMOs, fishermen, fishery industry groups, research institutions, and control and enforcement authorities can all use FLUX.
FiTI is a global multi-stakeholder initiative. Its purpose is to increase transparency and participation by national authorities in fisheries governance for the benefit of a more sustainable management of marine fisheries. The FitI:
1) Strives to reveal data that has otherwise been obscured from public scrutiny;
2) Attempts to verify if information in the public domain is reliable and complete;
3) Is designed to reveal where public authorities do not collate information, and requires the national multi-stakeholder group to come to an agreement on how these gaps in knowledge will be addressed.
The initiative does not focus on a single country or region, but rather seeks to establish a global level playing field among fisheries countries. FiTI is not owned or operated by one organization, and is instead represented by the diversity of stakeholders. It is implemented in countries through National Multi-Stakeholder Groups, consisting of representatives from government, business, and organized civil society.
The core of the initiative is the FiTI Standard, an agreement on what information on fisheries should be published by public authorities. It’s comprised of 12 transparency requirements and is applicable to all countries.
FishWise employs a full-time Traceability and Counter-IUU Fishing team dedicated to providing personalized traceability and risk identification services to seafood companies. There are three main areas of work central to FishWise’s traceability and counter-IUU fishing services. One focuses on leveraging diverse stakeholder groups in a variety of collaborations and alliances to drive change in seafood sustainability. A second centers on direct engagement with companies to set ambitious sustainability and traceability goals that are implemented through due diligence plans. The third involves producing in-depth resources that help guide the industry through traceability best practices.
FishWise leads the Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability (SALT), a global alliance for knowledge exchange and action to promote legal and sustainable fisheries through improved transparency in seafood supply chains. SALT brings together the seafood industry, governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to accelerate learning and support collaboration on innovative solutions for legal and sustainable seafood, with a particular focus on traceability.
Global Fishing Watch, a partnership between SkyTruth, Oceana, and Google, is an interactive technology platform that will enable anyone with an Internet connection to see commercial fishing activity anywhere in the world’s oceans in near real-time. It will empower stakeholders by providing transparency, which in turn, will drive the research, advocacy, policy-making, monitoring and enforcement needed for the effective management of our fisheries and oceans. Global Fishing Watch can also serve as a key tool in seafood traceability, validating catch documentation and offering a simple and inexpensive way for fishermen to demonstrate they are fishing responsibly.
The Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record) is a phased and collaborative global initiative to make available certified data from State authorities about vessels and vessel-related activities. The programme aims towards providing a single access point for information on vessels used for fishing and fishing-related activities with the primary objective being to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by enhancing transparency and traceability. The programme’s long-term goals are to strengthen the fisheries’ sector in terms of management and its sustainability, to enhance food security and the livelihoods of populations depending on fisheries including rural coastal populations.
Global Traceability has, since 2012, operated a cloud traceability platform that allows supply chain partners to connect and share product data. The collaborative software allows for supply chain mapping and greater visibility over the supply chain process. Global Traceability has over 85,000 businesses operating on the platform, including global players like Unilever.
Having originally focused on traceability in the timber industry, Global Traceability has in recent years moved into seafood traceability by establishing partnerships with certification schemes including the Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council, as well as major seafood industry stakeholders. With its experience in traceability, certification management, and compliance, Global Traceability can red-flag IUU fishing and enable a more transparent seafood supply chain.
On 5 June, 2017, 66 companies, including retailers and other tuna supply chain businesses, signed the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration with the aim of stopping illegal tuna getting to market, and promoting improvements in the environmental sustainability and human rights in tuna fisheries. The declaration was convened by the World Economic Forum and supported by six national governments and 21 civil society organizations.
The Commitments of the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration are based on the following four pillars:
• Tuna Traceability Commitment
• Commitment to a Socially Responsible Tuna Supply Chain
• Commitment to Environmentally Responsible Tuna Sources
• Government Partnership
To deliver on the World Economic Forum Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration, retail and other tuna supply chain businesses (referred to as “Global Tuna Alliance”) intend to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in global tuna supply chains, and ensure that the tuna ultimately meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility.
For information on what philanthropic, government, and international agencies are funding initiatives around the world to better seafood traceability and counter-IUU fishing practices, please use the Funding the Ocean map.