InSight Crime —
By providing satellite data on its fleets, Costa Rica is the latest country in Latin America to take on illegal fishing, which costs billions of dollars and taxes already over-exploited waters.
In July, the Costa Rican Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA) signed an agreement to make its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch (GFW), a partnership between international conservation group Oceana, satellite technology company SkyTruth, and Google. The process — completed in August — makes Costa Rica fourth Latin American country to openly share vessel monitoring data with the organization, which tracks vessels on a publicly accessible map. Panama, Chile and Peru began sharing information with GFW in 2019. Indonesia was the first nation to do so.
The information, published with a 72-hour delay, aims to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Data is collected from the government’s Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and through the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a mandatory navigational system for large boats that relays their locations to nearby vessels and coastal authorities.