Global Fishing Watch, an international NGO, has used technological improvements to open up vast amounts of new data on fishing around the world. These include data made public earlier this year on tens of thousands of global vessels, which would have been impossible even five years ago, The Guardian writes.

“Technological innovation is putting us within reach of a ‘real-time’ digital ocean. The open ocean has long been characterised as the wild west: lawless, remote and plagued by a paucity of data. However, our ability to directly detect and track fishing vessel activity globally is undergoing an extraordinary transformation”, Sarah Bladen, of Global Fishing Watch, said.

According to her, the era of ‘secret’ fishing spots is over. To maintain the social licence to operate, fishing industries worldwide need to step up and accept, indeed embrace, levels of transparency in fishing activities that were unimaginable a decade ago.

The new research, published in journal Science Advances, has found that improved management could yield even better returns, although the global demand for seafood in the next 20 years will grow by at least 40%.

According to the same research, Under 2C of warming could result in a 16% increase in the catch, amounting to 25bn servings of seafood a year, and nearly a third more fish in the sea than there are today. 

The specialists noted that new technologies, such as monitoring of fishing vessels from satellites and through the internet, could make a big difference in enabling closer management. These techniques can also make fisheries management more responsive to the changing dynamics of ocean ecosystems, so that fishing can be redirected if stocks appear to be declining, for instance.

As we previously reported, if the illegal catch is not stopped, then in 10 years, mankind will face a global shortage of seafood.

Meanwhile, 85% of low-quality imports are observed on Ukraine’s fish stalls.

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