Promoting ocean transparency together
The collaboration between Global Fishing Watch and the Belize High Seas Fisheries Unit (BHSFU) formally began in June 2021 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with which the Central American country committed to publicly sharing the tracking data of the fishing vessels of its high seas fleet.
This agreement, facilitated by the collaboration between Oceana and the government of Belize, led to the publication of activity data for more than 50 high seas vessels— tuna purse-seine, trawling, and longline—in the Global Fishing Watch public map.
Belize committed to fisheries transparency as an innovative way to improve the monitoring of its offshore fleet and strengthen compliance with its national regulations to detect and prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing more effectively.
Belize’s fishing industry annually contributes three percent to the country’s GDP. Its major fisheries are spiny lobster, queen conch and shrimp.
As an open registry State, Belize has several non-locally owned fishing vessels flying its flag. Currently, around 50 vessels flagged to Belize are authorized to operate on the high seas under the 1995 FAO Compliance Agreement. These are the vessels visible on the Global Fishing Watch public map.
Sharing fishing vessel data
since March 2022
How we support Belize
Leveraging the technology offered by Global Fishing Watch enhances the vessel monitoring capabilities of the BHSFU by providing an additional monitoring and surveillance tool to the existing vessel monitoring framework. The data offered on our platform makes it easy to identify unauthorized vessels, as well as those with a history of noncompliance or turning off their tracking devices so that they can be prioritized for inspections and potential enforcement efforts.
Belize uses the data analysis facilitated by Global Fishing Watch to inform management measures of its vessels and fisheries and identify areas for improvement. This advancement is a testament to Belize’s commitment to transparency and leadership in high seas fisheries management.
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