Last week, the first working version of the Information System of the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record) was released to member countries in order to collect their data.

The information system is an online comprehensive and updated repository of vessels involved in fishing operations which will serve as a single-access point of information to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that is estimated at an annual cost of US$ 10 – 23 billion.

An event held during a meeting of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) Bureau displayed this new tool designed to  enable State authorities and regional fisheries management organizations , to work together in order to make it more difficult for vessels to operate outside the law.

This tool is expected to serve inspectors, port State administrations, flag State administrations, non-governmental organizations and the general public.

Certified data are compiled, disseminated and provided by official State authorities responsible for this information.  The first working version of the Global Record Information System is currently open exclusively to authorized data providers to insert official data pertaining to, amongst others, their country’s fishing fleet including Vessel details; Flag, Vessel and Owner history records; Authorization Details; as well as other relevant information.

Once content is inserted by the authorities responsible for it, the tool will be made accessible to the general public.

The foundations of the Global Record Programme were laid in 2005 when the Rome Declaration on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing was adopted by the FAO Ministerial Meeting on Fisheries. The tool ties in to a framework of several legal instruments available including the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

The Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels has been developed thanks  to the financial support of the European Commission,  the Icelandic Ministry of Industries and Innovation, the Spanish Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

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