Title

Avoiding Detection: Global Case Studies of Possible AIS Avoidance

Date of Publication

2018 12:00 AM

Security Theme

IUU Fishing

Keywords

IUU fishing, AIS avoidance, AIS, AIS avoidance case studies, seafood traceability, commercial fishing vessels, proprietary vessel monitoring system, VMS data

Description

“Oceana highlighted cases of commercial fishing vessels “going dark” to public tracking systems around the world. Despite the associated safety benefits for vessels to use the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a ship’s crew may turn off this public tracking system to hide its location. Global Fishing Watcha (www.globalfishingwatch.org) uses public broadcast data from AIS to track the movement of fishing vessels to determine apparent fishing activity, and Oceana uses the technology to identify potentially suspicious activities at sea. In this report, Oceana identifies events where a ship’s AIS transponder was possibly turned off, which include: • A Panamanian purse seine vessel that seemed to disappear from public tracking systems for 15 days while operating near the border of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. • An Australian longliner that exhibited a pattern of potentially evasive AIS behavior by appearing to disable its AIS near the Heard Island and McDonalds Islands exclusive economic zone and marine reserve on 10 separate occasions during the period of just over one year. • A Spanish trawler that appeared to repeatedly turn off its AIS transponder when approaching the border between Senegal and The Gambia’s national waters over a period of at least one and a half years. • A Spanish purse seiner that appeared to turn off its AIS signal consistently over a seven-month period while operating in the national waters of at least five African countries as well as on the high seas. Proprietary Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data can complement AIS; however, except for a few countries, VMS data can only be viewed by government or intergovernmental monitoring and enforcement agencies. Oceana is working to help stop illegal fishing, increase transparency at sea, and to require traceability of all seafood. To those ends, Oceana urges governments to require all commercial fishing vessels to be equipped with and continually transmit tamper-resistant AIS technology. These tracking systems are essential for transparency and public accountability of global fishing operations. In addition, they improve maritime safety and can help combat illegal fishing and increase compliance of laws and regulations."

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Avoiding Detection: Global Case Studies of Possible AIS Avoidance

“Oceana highlighted cases of commercial fishing vessels “going dark” to public tracking systems around the world. Despite the associated safety benefits for vessels to use the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a ship’s crew may turn off this public tracking system to hide its location. Global Fishing Watcha (www.globalfishingwatch.org) uses public broadcast data from AIS to track the movement of fishing vessels to determine apparent fishing activity, and Oceana uses the technology to identify potentially suspicious activities at sea. In this report, Oceana identifies events where a ship’s AIS transponder was possibly turned off, which include: • A Panamanian purse seine vessel that seemed to disappear from public tracking systems for 15 days while operating near the border of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. • An Australian longliner that exhibited a pattern of potentially evasive AIS behavior by appearing to disable its AIS near the Heard Island and McDonalds Islands exclusive economic zone and marine reserve on 10 separate occasions during the period of just over one year. • A Spanish trawler that appeared to repeatedly turn off its AIS transponder when approaching the border between Senegal and The Gambia’s national waters over a period of at least one and a half years. • A Spanish purse seiner that appeared to turn off its AIS signal consistently over a seven-month period while operating in the national waters of at least five African countries as well as on the high seas. Proprietary Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data can complement AIS; however, except for a few countries, VMS data can only be viewed by government or intergovernmental monitoring and enforcement agencies. Oceana is working to help stop illegal fishing, increase transparency at sea, and to require traceability of all seafood. To those ends, Oceana urges governments to require all commercial fishing vessels to be equipped with and continually transmit tamper-resistant AIS technology. These tracking systems are essential for transparency and public accountability of global fishing operations. In addition, they improve maritime safety and can help combat illegal fishing and increase compliance of laws and regulations."