Global Fishing Watch forms collaboration with Vulcan Inc.

Published on
November 18, 2020

Global Fishing Watch (GFW), a nonprofit aiming to enhance sustainability through greater transparency in the world’s fisheries, has entered into a collaboration with Vulcan Inc., the creator of Skylight, a maritime information tool.

The new partnership, established through a memorandum of understanding, will allow the two organizations to provide no-cost access to vessel tracking data and analysis tools to governments and agencies. The additional information will help combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by giving the participating governments and agencies an enhanced look at fishing activity.

“We are excited to work with Skylight to offer complementary technologies to maritime nations seeking to enhance surveillance and enforcement,” Global Fishing Watch CEO Tony Long said. “Collaborations such as this will help governments and monitoring agencies achieve more effective ocean governance. Our combined capabilities will promote greater transparency in fishing activity and provide a more effective and efficient means of monitoring and control.”

Vulcan was founded by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen – the co-founder of Microsoft – in order to “make and leave the world a better place.” The company’s Skylight program uses machine learning, vessel metadata, and satellite-based analysis to provide maritime intelligence and services.

The partnership between GFW and Vulcan will allow for historical and near real-time analysis of fishing activity and will support the detection of “dark fleets” that do not appear in public monitoring systems.

“IUU fishing is a global problem that requires the coordinated efforts of organizations delivering innovative technology solutions to enable authorities to enforce laws regarding fishing activity,” Skylight Product Manager Ted Schmitt said.

To start, GFW and Vulcan will “focus their collaboration and outreach with maritime nations in Africa,” according to press release. While the focus will initially be on that region, it is “globally scalable,” and will allow for more organizations to join in over time.

“Access to the advanced monitoring, control, and surveillance capabilities of the Global Fishing Watch and Skylight platforms represents a true game-changer for combating this complex issue,” Schmitt said.  

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