Mexico Provides Public Access to Vessel Tracking Data for Commercial Fishing Fleet for First Time
The Government of Mexico provided access to satellite monitoring data from 2012 to 2018 for more than 2,000 commercial fishing vessels on the Global Fishing Watch (GFW) platform. The government’s action comes as a result of Oceana’s campaign to increase transparency in Mexican waters and follows a ruling from the National Institute for Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data that determined that the information was of public interest and should be made available. Oceana will continue to campaign to secure a more real time provision of this data as has been done in Peru and Indonesia.
Canada’s new Fisheries Act, passed into law on June 18, 2019, requires, for the first time in Canada’s history, science-based rebuilding of all depleted fish populations. The passage of this modernized law puts Canada on the path to restoring its oceans to abundance.
Chile Publishes Vessel Tracking Data for Fishing Fleet, Promoting Transparency at Sea
The Chilean government signed an agreement to make its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch (GFW). This means that 700 fishing vessels and more than 800 vessels serving Chile’s aquaculture industry will be visible on GFW’s website, which tracks the movements of commercial fishing vessels in near real-time. The agreement, which was made between Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service and GFW, demonstrates Chile’s commitment to greater transparency in fishing and is the result of Oceana’s collaboration with the Chilean government.
After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, Chile passed a new law to fight illegal fishing. The new law extends criminal liability for illegal fishing to transporters, processors, vendors and other middlemen – where the most money from criminal activity is to be made – while legalizing subsistence and survival fishing. Oceana advocated for modernization of the law for three years and introduced one of its key components: mandating that the government make publicly accessible the fishing vessels tracking data it collects.
The Philippines Protects 266,000 Square Kilometers of Ocean from Bottom Trawling
In the Philippines, following Oceana’s campaign, the government banned bottom trawling in all municipal waters. The area protected is roughly equivalent to the landmass of the entire country. Bottom trawlers destroy habitat, which includes ocean nurseries, by dragging heavily weighted nets across the ocean floor in pursuit of fish and leaving behind damage that can last centuries.
Brazil Stops Destructive Bottom Trawling in 13,000 Square Kilometers of Ocean That Is Home To Endangered Species
After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, passed a law to ban existing bottom trawling. These new protections extend along the entire length of the state’s 620-kilometer coast and cover a distance out to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from shore. The ban protects waters that are important to artisanal fishers and home to many endangered species.
Brazil Introduces First-Ever Management Rules for Tainha, Begins Science-Based Management of Fisheries
For the first time, the country’s tainha fishery (Brazil’s most important fishery) will be governed by scientific management, including stock assessments and catch limits. When Oceana first arrived, Brazil collected almost no fisheries data and had no catch limits for any ocean fish, leading to overfishing and declining stocks. Oceana successfully brought together government officials, scientists and small-scale and commercial fishers to introduce some much-needed, science-based policymaking into Brazil's oceans.
After Oceana waged a four-year legal battle, the Chilean Supreme Court ruled that the salmon farming industry in that country must disclose information about its use of antibiotics in aquaculture. Oceana has fought for transparency in the Chilean salmon farming industry, which has used alarming amounts of antibiotics, is a major cause of habitat degradation and poses risks to human health.
Republic Act 10654, which amends the Philippine Fisheries Code, became law in February 2015 after Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III allowed amendments to the 1998 Philippine Fisheries Code to lapse into law — a deliberate inaction in the Philippines that allows items to become law. Under RA 10654, which cracks down on illegal fishing and helps rebuild fisheries, sanctions have been raised to as high as $45 million (PHP) for commercial fishing violators and $2.4 million (PHP) for poachers. Additionally, the amendments call for the installation of a Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) system on all flagged Philippine fishing vessels that help identify commercial vessels operating illegally in Philippine waters, and call for it to be unlawful to intentionally tamper with, switch off or disable the vessel monitoring system.. By passing these amendments, the Philippines avoided penalties by the European Union for failing to meet its standards on sustainable fishing practices.
Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth Announce Global Fishing Watch
Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth partnered to announce Global Fishing Watch, a new big-data technology platform that provides an unprecedented global view of commercial fishing and human interaction with the oceans. It draws on data from the Automatic Identification System to analyze the identity, speed, and direction of vessels, with some specific applications including identifying vessels operating illegally without a license and those that may be falsely reporting catches, as well as pinpointing areas where large numbers of vessels converge. The technology will give citizens a free and easy-to-use online platform to visualize and track fishing activity worldwide, and will have uses for every day citizens to fishery managers and advocacy groups. The trio unveiled a prototype of the technology this November at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney.