Sunday, April 21, 2024

Oceana Launches New Illegal Fishing Vessel Tracker


The folks at Oceana this week launched a new tool that tracks illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)-listed vessels.

Using data from Global Fishing Watch, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ocean governance through increased transparency of human activity at sea, Oceana’s IUU Vessel Tracker displays the movements of vessels currently listed as IUUs by regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs).

The Norway-based nonprofit organization Trygg Mat Tracking actively compiles RFMO lists on the Combined IUU Vessel List, providing up-to-date information on IUU-listed vessels. Currently there are 168 vessels listed across 12 management organizations that oversee fishing on the high seas.

Oceana’s IUU Vessel Tracker is only displaying two vessels that are broadcasting their locations using their automatic identification system (AIS) devices. The other vessels may have changed their identities, may no longer be fishing, or don’t have their AIS devices turned on.

The map shows apparent fishing and transit activities of vessels over a one-month period of time.

According to Beth Lowell, Oceana’s deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns:

“IUU Vessel Tracker puts IUU-listed vessels on a map so anyone around the world can track their activities in near real time. These vessels are now on notice — we are watching them. To increase the number of vessels visible on this map, governments should mandate AIS for all fishing vessels so they can be monitored and held accountable for their actions at sea. Transparency of fishing is a game changer in the fight against IUU fishing, which pillages our oceans, stealing fish from the nets of lawful fishermen. The United States must embrace transparency at home so we can demand transparency from fishing vessels operating around the world.”

To access Oceana’s IUU Vessel Tracker, go to

(Image credit: Oceana)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.


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