Absence of Big Data Hampers Global Efforts to Stop Illegal, Unregulated Fishing

Big Data

Photo By  EvgeniT via Pixabay

The absence of a comprehensive database that shows the details about a fishing vessel, such as its activities and location, weakens the global efforts to stop unregulated, unreported, and illegal fishing. This is according to the study of England’s research institute, the Overseas Development Institute.

According to study, the problem of lack of big data about the fishing vessel is severe in the African nations because they have restricted access to said enforcement capabilities. Also, the study explains that their nation loses billions to illegal fishing because of poor government coordination and communication. It also reports that even private initiatives which tackle overfishing were limited in terms of utilizing remote sensing capabilities and gathering datasets.

The study suggests that in order to monitor the vessels of their movements and location, they need to have communications equipment, such as automatic identification systems or vessel management systems. However, these ships do not really install these tools, especially in countries that rank in the low-income category and are not accessible to new technologies. Some ship crews also prefer to switch off the systems to evade surveillance or arrest.

ODI specifies that the absence of a global fishing vessels database is a big challenge, considering that vessels regularly change owners, operators, and flags. It also claimed that if the transparency of the data in the fisheries will be improved, it will also raise awareness to the public and further enhance fisheries governance.