Countries in Asia have some of the largest distant water fishing fleets in the world. It is estimated that China, Japan, Republic of Korea and the fishing entity of Taiwan account for 90 percent of the distant water fishing effort around the globe. Distant water fleets operate globally and within all major regional fisheries management bodies, making them an integral part of the decision-making process when it comes to how international fisheries are governed.

Global Fishing Watch is working with a variety of partners throughout the region to support their sustainability efforts, as well as strengthen research and security collaborations that will help foster fisheries transparency. We are currently delivering tracking tools and analysis to select flag States—Japan, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and the fishing entity of Taiwan—with the goal of enhancing their monitoring, control and surveillance efforts to increase accountability and improve management practices.

An ongoing collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard has also presented us with opportunities to support patrols, providing authorities with analyses to inform their efforts and help focus investigations. And in March 2020 we kicked off a small-scale vessel tracking project in Indonesia to bring together multiple datasets into one accessible platform.

Given the size and significant role Asia’s distant water fishing fleets play in managing global fisheries, we hope to bring countries together through bilateral and regional agreements that seek to promote research and increase compliance and surveillance measures across relevant regional fisheries management organizations.

Xing Hua Sheng NO669

A boarding team aboard an over-the-horizon cutter boat from Coast Guard cutter Mellon approaches a fishing vessel to conduct an at-sea boarding in the North Pacific Ocean, Aug. 13, 2019. © US Coast Guard.

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