Long Beach, CA (February 1, 2021) – Fisheries intelligence organization Trygg Mat Tracking (TMT) gained approval to become an official Observer to the International Monitoring Control and Surveillance Network. TMT is the first Observer to be welcomed to the Network in 2021 and the fourth official Observer granted IMCS Network Observer Status in the past year.
TMT will make available its extensive fisheries intelligence and analytical expertise, offer its SPOTLIGHT briefing series, and provide training manuals and associated capacity support to Members of the Network. Through partnerships with Members, TMT will focus on Coastal States where capacity and resources are limited and illegal fishing is a high risk.
“TMT has always offered robust services, but during our vetting for Observer Status we were thrilled to learn about several additional opportunities for collaboration with Network Members,” said Gary Orr, Chairperson of the International MCS Network. “We welcome TMT to the Network for their capacity to bilaterally engage with country and international partners to develop and share regional cooperation mechanisms for monitoring, control, and surveillance.”
Members of the Network will be welcome to request fisheries intelligence reports from TMT in support of their MCS operations and risk assessments. To provide resources to Members, TMT will rely upon its bespoke fisheries intelligence management and analytical system known as the Fisheries Analytical Capacity Tool (FACT). FACT speeds up the fisheries intelligence analytical process by capturing and analyzing the identities and characteristics of the global fishing fleet and operational entities and coordinating global fisheries vessel and position data with information resources such as documents, port records, and photographs.
Through contributions of data from Network Members, FACT also has the potential to hasten the identification of the companies involved in fisheries crimes by analyzing big picture vessel movements, identity authorizations, and ownership and operational structures. By working with Network Members to collect data, TMT will expand its robust offerings and strengthen its records of historical ownerships and compliance history.
The SPOTLIGHT series will also help Members identify and close the global enforcement gaps and direct resources to these geographies. SPOTLIGHT shines a light on legal loopholes by focusing on the enforcement gaps exploited by illegal fishing operators to evade sanctions and access ports. The SPOTLIGHT briefings are developed to inform and support all fisheries and broader maritime stakeholders. Targeted training manuals and training opportunities will target clearly identified capacity needs by building upon the toolbox already developed by TMT.
TMT operations focus on working directly with and providing support to fisheries enforcement agencies and other relevant international partners. The organization works globally, with a priority on areas at high risk of illegal fishing activities and with a particular emphasis on African Coastal States where capacity and resources are limited. TMT brings to the table a wide range of relevant expertise including intelligence gathering and analysis, MCS operational support, company analysis, training, tech development, and support for both regional and national inter-agency MCS cooperation and information sharing mechanisms.
While membership to the IMCS Network must be limited to the directors and agents who execute Department and Ministry law enforcement as part of federal or nation state bureaucracies, non-profit organizations such as TMT which are involved in fisheries MCS are welcome to apply to participate as an official Observer to the Network. As an Observer, TMT will have the opportunity to attend, participate in, and address IMCS Network members during MCS meetings or trainings organized or otherwise facilitated by the Network, according to Article 6 of the IMCS Network Governing Framework. TMT will offer resources to Network Members while ensuring that venues for cooperation and capacity building remain secure and exclusive of illegal, industrial, and special interest parties.
“We are very pleased to join the IMCS Network as an official observer. The IMCS Network’s objective of building the enforcement capacity of its members aligns very closely with our own, and we look forward to working closely with Member States and other partners towards this goal,” said Duncan Copeland, Executive Director of TMT.
TMT is the first Observer to be welcomed to the Network in 2021 and the fourth official Observer granted IMCS Network Observer Status in the past year. Last year the Network also granted status to Global Fishing Watch, Vulcan, Inc., and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. Previously the Offshore Fisheries Development Corporation of Taiwan (OFDC) was welcomed as an Observer.