International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability

Side event
Global Atlas of AIS-based fishing activity

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 / 12:30 – 13:15

Sheikh Zayed Centre, FAO headquarters



AIS (Automatic Identification System) offers the ability to create a global, high-resolution map of fishing effort. The FAO, in coordination with Fundación AZTI, Seychelles Fishing Authority and Global Fishing Watch have published the Global Atlas of AIS-based fishing activity to take advantage of this unique dataset to create a more detailed understanding of fishing effort, fill in gaps in knowledge and validate existing datasets. The Atlas describes, in detail, the strengths and limitations of measuring fishing activity from AIS in each FAO region. It compares fishing effort calculated through AIS algorithms with those of VMS and logbooks, and it offers advice over how to interpret AIS-derived fishing effort.

This side event will be a presentation about the prospects of AIS and the main findings in the development of the AIS-based Atlas. The discussion will focus on the extent to which these data and information can supplement other fisheries data, and the use of AIS based methods for monitoring and analysis for RFMOs, nations, researchers, and NGOs. We will also discuss useful applications of effort reconstruction based on AIS and VMS data.

The structure of this side event will consist of a series of short presentations (10 to 15 minutes) by FAO, GFW, AZTI and SFA. The presentations will be followed by a questions and answers session between panel members and the audience.


  • Manuel Barange, Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division, FAO
  • Emmanuel Chassot, Seychelles Fishing Authority
  • Jose A. Fernandes, Fundación AZTI - AZTI Fundazioa
  • Jennifer Gee, Fishery Officer, Statistics and Information Branch, FAO
  • David Kroodsma, Global Fishing Watch
  • Marc Taconet, Branch Head, Statistics and Information Branch, FAO