HISTORY OF TMT
TMT was founded in 2013 with the express purpose of providing technical assistance to countries and international organisations with capacity and resource gaps so they could identify, analyse and use fisheries intelligence in their fisheries enforcement operations.
TMT Co-Founder, Gunnar Album
TMT's first Board Chair, Kjartan Hoydal
Through extensive experience of working with countries in various regions of the world, particularly East and West Africa, TMT’s founders clearly saw the gap in the systematic collection and analysis of fisheries intelligence, and the need for it to be shared, particularly with those countries that did not have the experience to gather and analyze fisheries intelligence, or the resources to manage their fisheries effectively.
TMT was in part born from an older organisation called Stiftelse Trygg Mat (‘Safe Food Foundation’ in Norwegian) and carried this name into the new organisation as Stiftelse Trygg Mat Tracking - abbreviated as TMT. This continues to be the registered name of the organisation in our home country of Norway. However, as the focus of the organisation has evolved away from the focus of our historic organisation and to avoid confusion that may arise from this history (and the hybrid Norwegian-English name!), in 2022 the decision was made to end the public use of Trygg Mat Tracking and instead use the name TM-Tracking and particularly TMT in our external presentation of the organisation.
Key individuals in the establishment of TMT were Gunnar Album and Kjartan Hoydal. Gunnar Album was a pioneer in the field of dedicated analysis and tracking of fishing vessels and their owners.
Gunnar strongly believed in the right of mankind to have access to and benefit from the resources of the oceans, but that this right was also a responsibility that must be carefully managed for the good of all, now and future. His work was instrumental in highlighting the significant gaps in available information, and his ability to build relationships and cooperation between different agencies was key to getting countries to share information and cooperate on fisheries enforcement actions. His work with government agencies, RFMOs and other relevant bodies directly contributed to effective enforcement actions including the arrest and prosecution of vessels and companies, Interpol Purple Notices, the exposure of forged licensing systems, and many more.
Kjartan Hoydal served as TMT’s first Board Chair. For many years Kjartan was a true champion of efforts to end illegal fishing, serving the international fisheries community as Head of the Faroese Fisheries Administration, Secretary of the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), Chair of the Regional Fishery Body Secretariats Network (RSN), on the Board of various institutions, and as President of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). Kjartan’s dedication and tireless efforts to the founding of TMT was integral to this organisation getting off the ground. Kjartan was a crucial part from the very beginning, offering support, introductions and a steady hand at the helm.
The other founders of TMT are Duncan Copeland, who currently serves as Executive Director, and Jan Thomas Odegard, who is Board Chair.
Following the sad passing of Gunnar in 2014 and Kjartan in 2016, the team they brought together at TMT were determined to carry on the important work and legacy, and it is in their memory and spirit that we carry out our operations today.