Oceana Provides Public Access to Mexico’s Commercial Fishing Data Online for First Time
Press Release Date: October 3, 2019
Location: Mexico City
Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation, today provided the public with free online access to vessel tracking data for more than 2,000 of Mexico’s industrial fishing vessels. This release includes data from vessels which mostly fish for shrimp, sardines, finfish and sharks.This was made possible through the decision by the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) which requires the tracks of commercial fishing vessels from 2012 to 2018 to be made public. Oceana today released the historical vessel data via the Global Fishing Watch platform, and it can be accessed at https://globalfishingwatch.org/map/workspace/mexico.“If we want to achieve sustainable fisheries, we need transparency and participation as cornerstones” said Joel Salas, INAI commissioner who presented the ruling project to the INAI Assembly. “Today there is no updated data about endangered species, and commercial fishing vessels are increasing, so in Mexico we fish blindly.”“We are lucky in Mexico to have world-class transparency legislation” added Pedro Zapata, Vice President of Oceana in Mexico. “Thanks to the INAI’s decision, Mexico has joined the global wave of fisheries transparency, and we can visualize historical fishing data for the entire industrial fleet.”Oceana looks forward to continued work with fisheries authorities to continually update this satellite tracking data, as has been done by other countries including Peru and Indonesia.“You can’t manage what you can’t see” said Jacqueline Savitz, Chief Policy Officer at Oceana. “This data from industrial vessels will allow the public to better understand fishing activity, and support law enforcement authorities to deter illegal fishing.” Today’s announcement adds to a growing movement toward increased transparency of fishery data worldwide. Countries like Peru and Indonesia have already provided access to their commercial fishing data via Global Fishing Watch, and the governments of Chile, Costa Rica, Panama and Namibia, have signed commitments to do so in the near future.