New System To Track Pacific Fishing Vessels In The Works

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Fisheries management, licensing data can now be combined: official

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 19, 2013) – The Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) is developing a new information system so Pacific nations can work together to track fishing vessels in their waters.

The deputy director general, Wez Norris, has presented details on the importance of information management systems at the 4th Pacific Tuna Forum which is now underway in Honiara.

He says there is a wide range of data being collected for the management of fisheries, but until now it has been held in isolation.

He says the FFA has been collecting licensing information for foreign vessels for years, and through satellite, monitoring where the vessels are.

He says that data can now be read together.

"Held in isolation, those two data sources are useful for their own purposes, but when you bring them together then you can look at a map of the region and you can see vessels that are fishing out there and you can also check that they are actually in the right place and that they are doing an activity that they are licensed to do in that area."

Mr. Norris says it can be difficult to fund patrol vessels and aircraft to monitor fishing boats - but this system will use the information they already have for that purpose.

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