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Ground-breaking International accord against illegal fishing

A Port State Measures Agreement to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported(IUU) fishing, championed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, has been jointly signed by the EU and another 29 countries. This means that the world’s first ever binding international accord specifically targeting IUU fishing, will become international law.

Both Norway and the United States are among the countries that have signed on to this new agreement, and for Norway the fight against IUU fisheries has been a long time priority. 

Satellites are an important tool in detecting and tracking IUU fisheries and Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) is at the technological forefront of these efforts. 
KSAT uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images to detect signatures of vessels at sea.  

When used in combination with Automatic Identification System (AIS ) data streams, it is possible to identify vessels in the satellite image, but also to detect vessels which should, by law, be broadcasting an AIS signal – but for some reason are not. In a satellite image one can also detect vessel activity i.e. in closed areas and identify suspicious behavour. 

For several years now, KSAT has been supporting the fight against IUU fishing through its industry-leading vessel detection service, assisting the Coast Guard and other enforcement authorities in detecting and locating unwanted activities. This past year KSAT supported a concerted counter-IUU fishing program run by ESA (European Space Agency) and World Bank, off the coasts of Liberia and Senegal. 

Norway and the United States cooperate on using satellite technology to combat IUU fishing. The Sea Scout initiative, announced by President Barack Obama last year, aims to mobilize and coordinate various initiatives and technologies for monitoring fisheries and fighting illegal fisheries.