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Launch of updated Combined IUU Vessel List to tackle IUU fishing

Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT), have launched a new Combined IUU Vessel List website, with new functions and richer data, to give users even better access to regularly updated, high quality information on IUU-listed fishing vessels.

The Combined IUU Vessel List aims to provide the best available, up to date information on all vessels that appear on the lists of IUU fishing vessels published by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), as well as fishing vessels that have been subject to a public Interpol Purple Notice. The site enables users to access all currently IUU listed vessels in one location and view detailed, up to date vessel information. Delisted vessels are retained on the site, so that it represents a complete record of all RFMO IUU listings.

Fishing vessels and the companies that operate them regularly change identities, ownership, and fishing locations. Those changes can be legitimate, but they can also be a way for illegal operators to avoid detection. High-risk fishing operators frequently change the identities of their vessels; for example, a vessel called ANDREY DOLGOV was IUU listed by CCAMLR in October 2016; since then it has used three other names and flags, and is currently operating as the STS-50. Another IUU-listed vessel, currently called the ATLANTIC WIND, has changed name and flag every year since 2010.

The challenge is that the RFMO IUU lists and Interpol Purple Notices may not be updated as vessels change name, flag and other identifiers. Whilst some RFMO IUU lists are kept up to date, others are only updated annually and some only provide the vessel information as it was originally officially listed. If an IUU-listed vessel changes identity, it is extremely difficult for it to be identified as high risk if it enters port, applies for a license, sells fish into a supply chain, or applies for insurance.

Trygg Mat Tracking maintains the Combined IUU Vessel List to improve the effectiveness of the RFMO IUU lists as a tool to combat illegal fishing and broader fisheries crime. The site is used by national authorities, intergovernmental organisations, companies and service providers to support their work to tackle illegal fishing, and is a valuable resource for academics, NGOs and others involved in researching IUU fishing.

New functions of the Combined IUU Vessel List include:

  • A new interface and fast search functionality

  • Last known vessel position for vessels that are currently tracking on AIS

  • Richer historic information

  • Users are also now able to easily download current information for all vessels contained on the site, to support their needs and analysis.

The Combined IUU Vessel List is directly linked to TMT’s internal Fisheries Analytical Capacity Tool (FACT) which aims to contain the best-available identity and operational information and compliance history for vessels and companies in the global industrial fishing fleet. FACT is constantly updated with new information from a wide variety of structured, unstructured and field-based sources, enabling TMT to keep vessel and company details up to date, even as names, flags and other identifiers change.

Duncan Copeland, Executive Director of TMT, says “Trygg Mat Tracking has maintained the Combined IUU List as a public service since its launch in 2012 and seen usage grow significantly in recent years. We hope that the relaunched site will strengthen its use as a valuable tool for countries and organisations engaged in the fight against IUU fishing”.

For more information, please see FAQs on the Combined IUU List, available here.

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