During a world leaders meeting in Oslo, Panama revealed its vessel tracking data through the Global Fishing Watch (GFW), highlighting the importance of vessel monitoring in the fishing sector, boosting transparency on enhancing fisheries management.
Specifically, during the sixth-annual ‘Our Ocean’ Conference in Oslo, Panama made its distant fishing fleet available to the public, presenting GFW’s map in real time.
Panama urged countries to participate in the efforts of making the fishing sector more transparent, adding that vessel monitoring and transshipment improves the governance and transparency of the sector.
According to the data shown, Panama’s fleet consists of 150 vessels, along with about 200 carrier vessels flagged to Panama and used to receive catch at sea and transport to port.
Flor Torrijos, Director of Authority of the Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP) commented that
Greater transparency in fishing activity is critical to combat illegal fishing, and enforce compliance in our fleet worldwide. We are very happy to be sharing our vessel tracking data via the Global Fishing Watch platform and continuing our collaboration.
Publicly sharing VMS data includes lists of authorized vessels, improves surveillance and encourages vessels to comply with regulations.
In the meantime, unauthorized vessels and vessels with a non-compliance history are easier to be identified and be a top priority for inspections; Also, vessels that turn off their AIS can be held accountable when they come into port.
Tony Long, CEO for Global Fishing Watch added that
Transparency is fundamental to improving fisheries management. Panama’s decision to publish its vessel data via our map adds real momentum to the drive for more public information on fishing activity. Panama is joining a growing number of countries recognizing transparency is a cost-effective and efficient way to enhance vessel monitoring.
In 2018, Indonesia delivered Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data for all Indonesian-flagged fishing vessels in a publicly-available data platform; Following, Peru also made its national vessel tracking data publicly available for the first time through Global Fishing Watch.