The Global Record is envisaged as a web-based global repository (database) designed primarily to provide reliable identification of vessels authorized to engage in fishing or fishing related activity.
An essential element will be the assignment of a unique identifying number to each vessel (UVI) so that regardless of ownership or flag changes over time, the UVI will remain constant. This will provide certainty to the vessel record and facilitate the accurate association of vessel related information. Once the core vessel record is established, it will be possible to associate a wide range of information modules providing a comprehensive information picture on all aspects of the vessel’s operation.
The following diagram illustrates the vessel identification module at the core of the database. For illustrative purposes it is populated with IHS Fairplay (formerly Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay) vessel data – including the IHS(IMO) number for each vessel – although final decisions as to which UVI system will be used are still to be made. The diagram then illustrates the types of information modules that can be developed around the central vessel information module, using the UVI as the essential link across all information sources.
Click on image to enlarge
Such a comprehensive information picture is not currently available and often, only well-resourced States are able to even contemplate the type of detailed investigation needed to establish it. Therefore, bearing in mind that the key aim of the Global Record is to prevent deter and eliminate IUU fishing, the information picture that it will facilitate will vastly improve sector transparency and will:
- assist in the verification of data submitted through traceability schemes;
- assist decision-making at all levels across the fisheries sector;
- assist resource allocation and prioritisation processes by Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Agencies, globally;
- empower and enhance existing MCS tools and measures employed to combat IUU fishing;
- inform MCS investigations;
- enhance the monitoring of flag State performance and other international commitments such as reduction in fishing capacity, subsidy payments, etc; and
- highlight and deter corruption and other illegal practices.
Overall, the Global Record will reduce the opportunity to engage in illegal fishing by making illegal activity more obvious. In turn this will enable key decision-makers across the fisheries sector to react in a timely fashion and ensure that illegal product does not find its way into the legitimate market place.