New Study: Greenhouse Gas Emissions are Rising as Vessel Traffic Grows

Commercial fishing is an energy-intensive business, and not just for the fishers hauling in the catch. Fishing vessels burn a lot of fuel. In fact, according to Naya Olmer, Marine Program Associate at the International Council on Clean Transportation, industrial-sized commercial fishing vessels are responsible for more than 4 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions released from all commercial vessels involved in transporting goods on the ocean. Read more

Guest Post: Illegal Fishing Part II– How Ocean Science And Technology Can Address IUU Fishing And Secure National, Economic, and Food Security Worldwide

Jonathan White is a retired Rear Admiral for the United States Navy and the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Last week, in this blog, he discussed how illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing threatens national, economic, and food security around the globe. Check it out here. Read more

Guest Post: Illegal Fishing – A Threat to National, Economic, and Food Security Worldwide

Jonathan White is a retired Rear Admiral for the United States Navy and the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Out of sight – out of mind. If you don’t see the ocean outside your window every day, it’s easy to forget how much we depend on it – from the oxygen we breathe (every other breath can be attributed to Read more

Guest Post: An Ocean With Neither Pirates Nor Slaves

John Hocevar is the Oceans Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA. His team has been using Global Fishing Watch to help focus their attention on specific areas within known hotspots of illegal activity. John is a co-author on a paper in the current issue of the journal Marine Policy that presents arguments for a moratorium on transshipment on the high seas. Among the issues raised in the paper is the association of transshipment with human trafficking and exploitation of workers who are trapped and abused on fishing vessels.

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Can Tourism Trump Tuna in Mexico?

This Global FIshing Watch map shows fishing activity (lighted dots) within and around the proposed Revillagigedo Marine Protected area [outlined in yellow] off the west coast of Mexico.

[UPDATE: On October 5, 2017, the Mexican government announced its intent to expand the Revillagigedo marine park into the largest protected area of its kind in North America. We are extremely proud that Global Fishing Watch contributed to this effort. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to read about the October 5 announcement.]

Last year, a study comparing the economic value of tourism and commercial fishing around a cluster of remote Eastern Pacific Islands put some hard numbers behind a proposal to create the one of the world’s largest Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Those numbers shifted the balance in a previously one-sided dialogue with the government of Mexico which owns the islands. Read more

Seafood Giants Commit to Stamping Out IUU Seafood

If it’s true that change starts at the top, then efforts to clean up the global fishing industry may be in for a boost. In a joint statement issued last week, CEOs from the world’s eight largest seafood companies committed to leading the fight against IUU fishing and slavery on the oceans while contributing to sustainability solutions.

The first of ten points outlined in their agreement is to: Read more

A New Angle on Baltic Sea Cod = Upheaval for the Fishery

Last month, the EU Fisheries Council of Ministers slashed next year’s catch quota for the Western Baltic Sea cod by 56 percent. It was a bold move that has fishermen concerned for their livelihoods and scientists concerned for the sustainability of the stock. Though unprecedented, Read more

Whaling off the map

Are whaling vessels that operate without using aids to avoid vessel collision putting the safety of biodiversity and people at risk?  

This week the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has convened in Slovenia. The gathering marks the 30th anniversary of the commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling. Read more

Remote Tracking to Improve Shark Conservation

Usually when you want to protect something, you have to know where it is. That sounds like common sense, but when it comes to protecting highly migratory species in the oceans, scientists, conservationists and resource managers are often flying blind. Marine animals such as sharks, turtles, whales and large mid-ocean fish like tuna often traverse thousands of miles of ocean every year making them hard to keep an eye on. Read more

Tracking Fish and Ships

Where do sharks and boats cross paths? What about sea turtles and whales? If we knew this, maybe we could reduce the number of vulnerable marine animals that end up entangled  or accidentally caught in fishing gear.

After years of monitoring large pelagic sea life with remote tracking devices, researchers have started to build a picture of where certain species travel throughout the year. Together with our fishing vessel maps, we have a real opportunity to minimize the deadly encounters between humans and marine life. Read more

Diversity Expedition Update

Last week we reported on an expedition to survey diversity in the deep sea off the coast of Southern California. The goal of the expedition was to document on video the diversity of deep sea diversity in the area and demonstrate the need to close the waters of the Southern California Bight to bottom trawl fishing which destroys seafloor habitat. The team is back, and according Goeff Shester, California Campaign Director and scientist for Oceana, it was a great success. Read more

Rush Hour in the Sanctuary

Way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on a sanctuary off limits to fishing activity, scientists are learning the habits of marine life uninterrupted by humans. In a recent study, they’ve found that sharks commute in and out of the lagoons of Palmyra on a daily basis. Rush hour according to the researchers appears to hover around sunset, Read more

Video Expedition Hopes to Capture and Protect Deep Sea Diversity off Southern California

Once considered to be a cold, dark desert nearly devoid of life, the deep sea is now known to support more species of marine life than the shallow reefs of the tropics. A menagerie of corals, sponges and undiscovered creatures—some of them previously unimaginable, others known only from the fossil record, lies hidden in near complete darkness beneath hundreds, or thousands, of feet of water. Read more