7 June 2021
International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing took place on Saturday, 5 June.
5 June reflects the day that the Port State Measures Agreement came into force. The Port State Measures Agreement is a binding international agreement that prevents vessels engaged in IUU fishing accessing ports and landing their catches.
Although resources are limited, St Helena is dedicated to do all it can to help in the fight against IUU fishing.
As a condition of an offshore licence, vessels are required to have a functioning Automatic Identification System (AIS). AIS is a satellite tracking system that allows the monitoring of vessels’ movements at all times when at sea. The data produced by an AIS system is publicly available, this level of transparency assists fisheries regulators across the world in the battle against IUU fishing.
St Helena is a member of the Blue Belt Surveillance and Intelligence Hub (BBSIH) and regularly receive reports on vessel movement in our 200nm Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Hub uses other surveillance techniques and additional satellite imagery in addition to AIS. By being a member of the Surveillance and Intelligence Hub the Island’s IUU intelligence is shared with all other UK Overseas Territories, this allows the UK Overseas Territories to better coordinate their response to IUU fishing.
To learn more, please go to: https:facebook.com/ukgovBlueBelt/videos/3844694148918915
Remote Electronic Monitoring
Through the BBSIH St Helena feeds into a system that monitors the waters of seven UK Overseas Territories. This allows the BBSIH to more effectively deploy assets such as AIS analysis and satellite surveillance to detect and prevent IUU fishing. St Helena is also preparing to start its own Remote Electronic Monitoring trail. As part of this trail cameras and monitoring equipment will be fitted on locally flagged fishing vessels. This equipment will assist in monitoring these vessels but will also help further technological advancement in the Remote Electronic Monitoring sector.
Maintaining a Presence
Although Remote Electronic Monitoring is effective, there is no substitute to having vessels at sea monitoring St Helena waters. Through the development of the Island’s offshore fishery, St Helena’s own fishing vessels will be on the seamounts. These vessels will assist in monitoring St Helena waters reporting any sightings of suspicious vessels.
7 June 2021