To the transparency of the sea to increase, environmental managers launched a website that shows exactly where industrial fishing boats currently sail. “A strong measure against illegal fishing”, say experts.
The satellite-controlled program Global Fishing Watch will be by scientists who already have been tested, described as “a strong medium to prevent illegal fishing and to tracks, a practice that in particular poor countries harms”.
In some regions, such as marine reserves or coastal zones reserved for small-scale fisheries, indicates the presence of an industrial fishing boat with high probability on illegal practices.
“Usually, we cannot immediately determine whether a boat fishing illegally or not,” says John Amos of the ngo SkyTruth that the program developed in collaboration with Google and the American ngo Oceana. “But what is certain is that someone, somewhere in the world it knows, or that boat is legal or not.”
That ‘someone’ can, for example, Josephus Mamie, head of Sierra Leone’s Fisheries Research Unit. According to him, there are two to three times more boats active in the coastal areas of the country than legally allowed. “In this way get an overview of all the boats, it will be for us a huge help,” he says.
More fishing than allowed
Illegal fishing is a major problem in West Africa and in the Pacific Ocean, where a lot of fishing on tuna and billfish. And even though fishing boats are not illegal, yet, according to WWF’s often a lot more fish than the license permits. In that way, the inhabitants of the island states which depend heavily on fishing and the sale of licenses, robbed, said Bubba Cook, WWF.
Since GlobalFishingWatch.com online is governments in the South, ngos and even private fishing boats tracking. “This is a revolutionary development that will lead to a much better management of the fisheries”, says Jaqueline Savitz of Oceana.
The program was created with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
(IPS / Christopher Pala)