Indonesia releases fishing fleet data to cut illegal fishing

Data from the country’s Vessel Monitoring System could be used in the fight against illegal fishing.

Indonesia has published data revealing the location and activity of its commercial fishing fleet, it was announced last week. Indonesia is the “second-largest” producer of wild-caught seafood in the world, a release said, and publishing such data could help to curb “illegal, unreported and unregulated” fishing. This data was previously available only upon request, and is now publicly available on the Global Fishing Watch platform for anyone in the world to access. The platform uses publicly-broadcast signals from industrial-sized commercial fishing vessels to reveal their activity at sea. The data comes from the Indonesian government’s Vessel Monitoring System, which tracks the location and movement of its fishing vessels. Users can now view “commercial fishing in Indonesian waters and areas of the Indian Ocean where it had previously been invisible to the public and other nations”, which helps to increase transparency of the country’s fishing industry, according to the press release. This data could support regional cooperation in monitoring, surveillance, enforcement, and management of the fishing industry, and reduce opportunities for corruption, it said. "Illegal fishing is an international problem, and countering it requires cross-border cooperation between countries," Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Affairs, was quoted as saying. Image by Paul MorganCC BY 2.0