Last week, Oceana attended an international meeting on blue sharks that was held in Tenerife, Spain, by ICCAT (the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas).  The meeting was the first of two for this year’s assessment of blue sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea – the first ICCAT assessment that has been done for this species since 2008.

Important fisheries

Earlier this week, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs hosted an important screening: the wrap-up documentary of the LIFE+ INDEMARES project. LIFE+ INDEMARES is a turning point in marine conservation in Spain, since it has allowed the country to propose ten new Sites of Community Importance (SCI), increasing the marine protected surface from 1% to 6%.

What do you get when the world’s leading marine conservation group, a digital mapping non-profit and a data-storing giant team up? Global Fishing Watch (GFW), a free online tool that will allow anyone to track movements of fishing fleets around the world. GFW uses data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a tracking system used by over 100,000 vessels, to identify behavior consistent with fishing. It represents the next step in transparency within the seafood supply chain.

The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud announced this month, at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, its plan to crack down on pirate fishing. The just-released Task Force’s Action Plan includes directing the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to use trade agreements to “pursue international commitments to eliminate fisheries subsidies that contribute to excess fishing capacity, overfishing, and IUU fishing by 2020.”