Spyglass – Ecotrust Canada

Illegal fishing and other forms of crimes committed by and onboard fishing vessels at sea, affect ecosystems, people, and their communities. Fishing crimes jeopardize livelihoods and food security of millions of people around the globe.

Spyglass is a cooperative platform that publishes information from the Criminal Record of Fishing Vessels © 2018 Dyhia Belhabib, and allows users to have access to the criminal history of individual large-scale fishing vessels and their companies, and small-scale fishing vessels, in support of local governments, Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance agencies, fishing communities, and the public.

Objective

Despite very high ecological, social and economic costs, issues with illegal fishing are often intensified by the lack of human and financial resources to monitor coastal waters. Often, developing countries’ surveillance efforts become handicapped by the lack of financial resources after the departure of e.g. a big funder, or the termination of a project.

We are building a pioneering collaborative initiative that will allow surveillance departments, NGOs and governments to focus their surveillance efforts on high risk vessels, to more effectively sanction those vessels, and therefore increase the efficiency, cost effectiveness and transparency of their monitoring efforts.

I-Sea Fisheries, under which spyglass.fish is created, is a project funded by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation will establish a worldwide community platform that addresses this need allowing some of the most vulnerable countries in the world to sustainably recover their Monitoring Control and Surveillance Costs, and systematically reduce illegal fishing and criminal activity of large scale vessels at-sea.

The idea and how it emerged

Opening up information to the criminal history of ocean going vessels has the potential to dramatically improve the wellbeing of coastal communities through a wide range of impacts from increasing local control of resource management, to reducing the loss of local incomes and jobs to industrial illegal fishing. It also could inform subsidy ban to high risk vessels and their companies.

For example, the Senegalese Department of Surveillance having access to information on the past criminal activities of vessels in their waters, sanctioned every vessel for under-reporting vessel capacity, and refused fishing licences to these high risk vessels. Under-reporting of vessel capacity often goes unsanctioned. Cases such as this one are key to explain how cooperation and shared information can dramatically improve a countries’ ability to protect its waters from illegal fishing and other related crimes.

Knowing the power of shared data to support the wellbeing of communities, Ecotrust Canada under the leadership and vision of Dr. Dyhia Belhabib, has designed the I-Sea Fisheries project to enable easy, affordable, and open data sharing on the criminal history of fishing vessels.

Specializations
Functionalities
Other information
Spyglass – Ecotrust Canada
spyglass
Country:
Canada
Founded:
2018
Organization Type:
Nonprofit
Sector:
Research

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