WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - September 16, 2016) - A new pilot program, resulting from a partnership of PT Bali Seafood International (BSI), Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) and Global Fishing Watch, will install lightweight passive tracking devices on approximately 100 small artisanal fishing vessels to provide consumers with boat-to-port traceability of wild-caught seafood. A memorandum of understanding was executed by the parties in Jakarta in July, 2016, at The Economist Regional Ocean Summit, allowing for implementation to begin immediately. BSI has placed itself on the leading edge of seafood traceability by developing this partnership.
"Vessel location transparency for the global fishing fleet is a game changer. Global Fishing Watch makes it possible to understand catch locations and control harvest, cornerstones of sustainable fishing," explained BSI President and founder Jerry Knecht. "Now that we are scaling the electronic tracking of the small boat fleet, we can begin to fill in the coastal vessel location and harvest picture, allowing for effective management at all levels of harvest."
BSI and PDS completed a successful 20-boat pilot tracking Ahi tuna caught off Sumbawa in the Indonesian archipelago in 2015. This program addressed a data gap, as artisanal boats are not typically outfitted with the same tracking technology as the large-scale fishing fleet. Expanding monitoring beyond the initial pilot further improves transparency across the small-boat fishing fleets of the developing world.
By outfitting small vessels with the means to track product from boat-to-port, this program will help increase the value of the seafood harvested by participating small boat fishers, will provide robust data about fishing activity to inform sustainable management practices, and will demonstrate a novel, cost-effective transparency approach that can be scaled globally.
Global Fishing Watch, itself a partnership of Oceana, SkyTruth and Google, will publish the data, free and available to the public with the official launch of the platform yesterday in Washington, D.C., at the Our Ocean conference hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"We're excited to see Global Fishing Watch used as a positive market incentive, helping producers move toward greater transparency in their operations," said Brian Sullivan, Google's lead on the project.
"This collaboration takes us one step closer to ridding the world of illegal fishing," said Dave Solomon, PDS's CEO. "We are fortunate to be at a place where we have the technology, the partnerships and the momentum to make fishing activity as transparent as possible."
About Global Fishing Watch
Global Fishing Watch (GFW) is the product of a partnership between Oceana, SkyTruth and Google that provides a never-before-seen view of commercial fishing in the ocean. GFW is free and public, global in scale, easy to use and provides near real-time data. This is important as hundreds of millions of people now depend on the ocean for their livelihoods and approximately 3 billion rely on it for a primary food source. Global Fishing Watch is designed to support ocean sustainability so that governments, fishery management organizations, citizens and the fishing industry can work together to rebuild fisheries and conserve important places.
About PT Bali Seafood International
PT Bali Seafood International (BSI), the Indonesian subsidiary of North Atlantic Inc., is an exporter of fully-traceable, wild caught seafood. BSI has pioneered an integrated fisheries management model by building local community support in pursuit of sustainable resource harvesting -- driving positive social impact in the communities in which it works and hook-to-plate transparency for its customers.
About Pelagic Data Systems
Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) is the creator of affordable, lightweight vessel tracking systems designed specifically for small-scale fisheries. PDS's innovative technology fills the data gap for artisanal vessels, which make up 95 percent of the world's fishing fleet and are typically a poor fit for traditional tracking systems. PDS has partnered with fishing and conservation groups to pilot its technology in Southeast Asia, as well as Latin America and West Africa.