Case Study of the Icelandic Integrated System for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1053

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1053

Case Study of the Icelandic Integrated System
for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance

Gylfi Geirsson
Senior Commander
Icelandic Coast Guard

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


Geirsson, G.
Case Study of the Icelandic Integrated System for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1053. Rome, FAO. 2011. 44p.

This case study examines the creation and operation of an integrated system for monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) in Iceland. While Iceland may present a unique situation, with the importance of the fisheries sector in a relatively small country and its particular historical evolution and institutional setup, the underlying concepts of closer collaboration among related institutions and organizations at the national level through creative and dedicated approaches can be adapted to a wide variety of circumstances.

The integrated system has proved to be effective in combating and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the North Atlantic Ocean. In addition to facilitating safety and security, the integrated system is a highly effective tool for combating organized crimes beyond fishing such as trafficking in humans and illegal drugs. This approach emphasizes using all available data – identification of the vessel, its movements, IUU lists, notifications, reports, fishing licences, permits, port State control reports, etc.

Components that have been included in this integrated format include traditional means of surveillance by vessels and aircraft, newer techniques such as vessel monitoring systems and satellite imagery, and requirements for manual notification, and the reception of all of these.

The functioning of the integrated system in Iceland entails significant investment and running costs, which may not be suitable for a developing country. However, the purpose of this study is to illustrate the benefits in terms of effectiveness and savings when adopting an integrated approach.

Table of Contents

Preparation of this document
Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive Summary

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1. Introduction
2. Historical perspective
3. The integrated system

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4. Implementation
6. Possible improvements
7. Conclusion

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Annex 1: Technical characteristics

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