To support healthy fisheries and marine ecosystems, Pew is working to secure comprehensive rules and consequences for international fisheries management. Although governments create the rules around fishing, the market can play vital a role in moving management toward sustainability. By exerting its purchasing power or brand recognition, stakeholders in the seafood industry can garner support for improved policies, better governance, and cooperative enforcement. By working toward effective rules and consequences, The Pew Charitable Trusts seeks to increase international cooperation and improve international fisheries governance and management.
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The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan policy research center working to solve global threats to security and prosperity. Their Oceans Security program has identified several intersections of marine protection and enforcement and peace and stability, including: the connections between illegal fishing and transnational organized crime; the entry of fishermen into illicit markets; geopolitical conflict over fishing rights; and the use by governments of military assets to combat illegal fishing. Through a partnership with National Geographic, Stimson launched Secure Oceans, a platform that helps countries, multilateral organizations, and NGOs around the world find the right technology to protect their marine protected areas.
TRAFFIC is a non-governmental organization working on wildlife trade in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, with a key area of focus on sustainable fisheries: addressing the need for increased shark/ray fisheries management, limiting the overfishing of bluefin tuna, and mitigating the illegal, unsustainable trade of abalone.
Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) provides fisheries intelligence analysis to national authorities and relevant international organisations, in support of enforcement actions and broader improvements in fisheries governance. This is achieved through a combination of information sharing, training and cooperation with various agencies, fisheries intelligence gathering and analysis, vessel tracking, and the development of technology that assists in the collection of information on fisheries crimes. TMT focuses in particular on areas in and near African coastal countries. They provide up to date information available to the public regarding IUU-listed vessels (http://iuu-vessels.org/iuu), and also maintain a global database of fishing vessels that is continuously being updated with name changes or other identification markings.
Vulcan Inc. is the engine behind philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen’s network of organizations and initiatives. They work on improving our planet through philanthropy, inspirational experiences, and scientific and technological initiatives. One of their projects is SkyLight, a technology system that uses satellite imagery and data-analysis software to help countries spot and catch unlicensed fishing boats.
WhoFishesFar is a public database on the European Union’s (EU) fishing vessels that have an authorization under the EU’s Fishing Authorization Regulation (FAR) to fish in third-country waters or on the high seas. The data includes all official agreements, but not private agreements, as the EU Commission itself admits that the EU has no data on these agreements. This website aims to demonstrate the need for institutional transparency and accountability of the EU fleet’s activities in waters outside the EU.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) supports sustainable fishing and good governance in geographic places such as the Arctic, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, the Southern Cone, and on the high seas. WWF focuses efforts on reducing the impact of fishing that is making a considerable footprint on ecologically important marine ecoregions and conserving commercially valuable species such as tuna and whitefish. WWF also works with private partners to push market demand for sustainable seafood. WWF has worked to advance seafood traceability through crafting guidance documents such as Traceability Principles for Wild-Caught Fish Products and Recommendations for a Global Framework to Ensure the Legality and Traceability of Wild-Caught Fish Products, and participating in various collaborative projects aimed at advancing industry-wide traceability best practices such as the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability.
This effort has regional work that contains more information on regional initiatives, such as WWF Peru and WWF Japan. Use the Seascape Map to search by region for more information.
The Vessel Tracer (VT) iVMS is a small vessel monitoring unit that has been specifically designed for small-scale fisheries. The VT iVMS comes in both solar-powered and line-powered versions. The transponder uses inexpensive cell-phone technology to transmit vessel movements, allowing for higher reporting frequency than traditional VMS. This, in turn, allows for higher resolution monitoring to help determine fishing activity. Both models report positions while within mobile-phone coverage and store any positions and alerts internally if outside coverage. Once coverage is re-established, any stored positions will be forwarded to secure servers. These transponders can instantly warn fishers (and authorities) if a vessel enters into an MPA or any other closure. This assists fishers to work towards legal and sustainable fishing and can be a tool to help protect vulnerable stocks and habitats.
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.