A study recently published in the Nature Communications journal highlighted two key risk factors for identifying illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, according to the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries: the country that a vessel is registered to (its “flag state”) and the type of fishing gear the vessel carries onboard.
At Windward, we believe that IUU fishing is more than static information about the flag and gear. Fishing vessels seeking to conceal unethical or illegal behavior will likely engage in various types of behaviors, including dark activities, long periods with no port calls and engagement with supporting fleets . These fleets help fuel up the fishing vessels, bring supplies for extended stays, and offload the catch, in an attempt to avoid scrutiny.
Windward’s Expanded AI Insights
In recent years, domestic and long-distance fishing fleets have become tools used by nations for maintaining presence, asserting power, and enabling geopolitical expansion. It is critical for authorities to closely monitor these fishing fleets, with a clear overview of all actors involved, including connected countries, companies, and vessel owners.
To help government and security agencies better handle this issue, Windward has announced the expansion of its AI-driven, maritime risk insights to include IUU fishing. The expansion will allow new and existing customers, including law enforcement and government authorities, to have a comprehensive view of IUU fishing-related risks through AI-powered behavioral models that analyze and flag all fishing vessels and supporting fleets involved.
“Illegal fishing is a major concern in and of itself, but it’s also a symptom of other issues plaguing the maritime industry,” said Matan Peled, Co-Founder and Head of U.S. Business at Windward.
“Fishing ships that engage in IUU fishing are quite often involved with slave labor and other criminal activity, in some cases on behalf of foreign governments encroaching on other sovereign governments’ exclusive economic zones. Governmental authorities need to move beyond siloed methods of maritime domain awareness and gain a holistic view of malignant actors to mitigate the geopolitical, economic, and environmental risks involved with IUU fishing.”
To learn how Windward’s AI platform can help combat IUU, click here to read the full PR.