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Vessel Viewer

TMT and Global Fishing Watch are working together to assist States in implementing effective fisheries controls. To arm authorities with the information needed to make a rapid assessment of a fishing vessel’s recent operations and compliance risk, the organizations have developed a vessel history tool called Vessel Viewer.


What is Vessel Viewer?

Vessel Viewer is a tool, made available through an app. It integrates TMT fishing vessel identity and risk profile with Global Fishing Watch (GFW) positional data and algorithms. When combined, these data sources provide users with information on a vessel of interest’s identity, fishing activity, port visits and transshipments. This allows users to identify and cross-check relevant, absent or false information about a given vessel and its fishing operations to inform risk-based decision-making and operational planning. Vessel Viewer is being initially rolled out to countries that TMT and GFW are assisting with the implementation of Port State controls, but will later be developed to support much broader fisheries management applications.

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What's the Vision?

  • Port authorities can effectively use their limited resources to quickly identify key aspects of a vessel to make an informed decision. 


  • More accessible information about a vessel’s identity and activity is available to quickly assess suspicious elements


Key Functionality of Vessel Viewer

  • Near real-time - Present and historical

  • Save for offline access - 72 hour delay

  • Vessel identity and activity - Helps with spotty internet

  • Customize activity highlighting - By time period, activity type, etc.

  • Map View - Visualize a voyage


Pilot Project: Vessel Viewer

In November 2021, TMT and Global Fishing Watch, announced a pilot project in partnership with Senegal, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) to provide authorities with satellite tracking data, analysis and training needed to assess a fishing vessel’s recent operations and compliance risk.


The collaboration will better position port authorities and fisheries officials to monitor the movements of fishing and carrier vessels, identify activity that may indicate an elevated risk of illegal behaviour, and target inspections and enforcement where they are needed most. 

The Vessel Viewer tool is a component of the pilot project which also includes cooperation between the pilot countries, Global Fishing Watch and TMT on: Port risk assessment, Advanced request for entry to port (AREP) and Capacity building and analysis. 


“Implementing strong port controls is the best and most effective opportunity to ensure that illegal catch has no market, and illegal fishing operators are cut off from their profits. To do so requires the ability to make rapid risk assessments to inform the key decisions on whether to let a vessel into port, and where to target inspections. We are very pleased to be adding this new port control focus to our cooperation with Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and the Fisheries Committee for the West Central Gulf of Guinea, towards building the tools, data, routines and capacity needed to effectively implement the Port State Measures Agreement in East and West Africa.” Duncan Copeland, Executive Director of TMT.

Read the Vessel Viewer Pilot Project announcement here.

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Vessel Viewer - A New Insurance Tool Pilot

In September 2022, a pilot programme was launched to utilise the Vessel Viewer tool to tackle global illegal fishing through the engagement of the insurance sector. Insurers have committed to test the pilot scheme for the tool which is designed to counter the scourge of illegal fishing. The first fixed premium P&I facilities to join is Norwegian based Hydor AS with other global insurers poised to engage in the initiative.

The initiative has brought together global expertise in insurance, marine ecology and technology under the banner of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA). It has developed a new tool which harnesses data to enable insurers to quickly discover whether vessels they are considering insuring are at risk of engaging in IUU fishing.


Cutting off access to insurance makes it more costly for IUU vessels to operate and disincentivises operators from engaging in this illicit activity. It can also help insurers avoid costly claims and exposure to potential legal and reputational liabilities, making the business case for this initiative clear.

Read the Vessel Viewer Insurance Press Release here

Download the Vessel Viewer Insurance Tool Programme PDF


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