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 and its recent operations, the organizations have developed a vessel history and insights tool called Vessel Viewer.
What is Vessel Viewer?
Vessel Viewer is an innovative vessel history and insights tool that arms authorities with the information needed to make a rapid assessment of a fishing vessel and its recent operations. Developed in partnership by Global Fishing Watch and TMT, the tool provides information on a vessel’s identity, AIS coverage, 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 assessments, decision-making and operational planning. By helping individuals better understand vessel behaviour and providing them with broader analysis of vessel operations, Vessel Viewer supports a range of applications that can help bolster ocean governance.
What's the Vision?
MCS practitioners 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
Vessel identity and activity - Present and historical
Customize activity view - By time period, activity type, etc.
Map View - Visualize a voyage
Near real-time – Updated vessel identity information and 72 hour AIS delay
Save for offline access - Helps with poor internet connections
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.
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.
Vessel Viewer 2.0 launched October 2023 includes updates that enables users to:
Incorporating crucial insights and building on feedback from both pilot projects, Vessel Viewer 2.0 is a publicly accessible version of the tool, available through the Global Fishing Watch website.
This new version, which is fully integrated with the Global Fishing Watch Map and includes several new functionalities, will become the basis of a planned expansion of Vessel Viewer access to support new MCS use cases, so the data and insights that it provides can be leveraged in support of risk-based monitoring, control and surveillance in line with countries’ requirements as port, flag and coastal States.