November 22, 2013
A new pilot project initiated by WWF proves that the use of satellite technology in the surveillance of fishing activities can be an efficient and simple method to increase safety on fishing vessels and promote legal and transparent fishing operations. WWF cooperates with Sea Quest, a fishing company in Fiji in the South Pacific that agreed to install Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmitters on its tuna fishing vessels to demonstrate full transparency of the company´s fishing operations.
Since June 2013, six AIS transmitters have been activated round-the-clock on the long-line albacore tuna fishing vessels of Sea Quest. The AIS is a reliable supplier of data constantly sending signals from the vessels where it has been installed to the WWF database to monitor and evaluate fishing and vessel operations on the water. WWF can retrace the routes and activities of Sea Quest's fishing vessels and ensure that boundaries of sensitive areas and no take zones are respected.
"Our cooperation shows that this MSC-certified tuna fishery is willing to make their fishing operations fully transparent," said Alfred Schumm, WWF's Smart Fishing Initiative Leader. "I hope that the Sea Quest project will become a global example of how to make fishing transparent, and that it will trigger other companies to join us aboard."