Now science will tackle illegal fishing
SCIENCE is joining the fight against illegal fishing, with CSIRO developing a world first notification system that alerts authorities when offending vessels arrive in port.
The web-based reporting tool identifies and ranks vessels across the globe based on a list of behaviours associated with illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
CSIRO senior scientist and co-designer of the platform Dr Chris Wilcox said the tool used data collected by satellites to monitor and report suspiciously behaving vessels.
“Almost all vessels are equipped with anti-collision devices that can be detected by satellites,” Dr Wilcox said.
“Countries that use this new tool will be able to reverse the tide of illegal fishing and help rebuild depleted fish stocks.”
Illegal fishing is the third most lucrative crime in the world, after weapons trafficking and drug smuggling.
It’s estimated there are 26 million tons of illegal fish caught each year, worth about $US23 billion.
It happens in all parts of the world but is particularly problematic in the developing world where low capacity and funding make it difficult to fight. One third of fish take in US and Australian markets appears to be illegal.