Resources & Climate

The Security Implications of Distant Water Fleets and Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported Fishing

Commercial fishing is big business, with over 56 million people working on vessels to support it. Despite this, a lack of transparency exists across the entire seafood supply chain, impeding effective fisheries management.

Distant water fishing (DWF) fleets operate in the shadows. With a lack of information on where they fish, what they catch, and vessel ownership, there is an increased risk of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing activity. 

A new report from the Stimson Center illuminates DWF fleet activities and the security implications for coastal countries. This event will discuss the dire consequences and potential solutions to IUU fishing and ensuring transparency across the seafood industry.


Admiral Michelle Howard (retired)

Howard was the commander of Amphibious Squadron 7 from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf. She commanded Expeditionary Strike Group 2 from April 2009 to July 2010. In 2009, she deployed to U.S. Central Command theater, where she commanded Task Force 151, Multi-national Counter-piracy effort, and Task Force 51, Expeditionary Forces. In 2010, she was the Maritime Task Force commander for Baltic Operations, under U.S. 6th Fleet.

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Vice Admiral Daniel Abel, U.S. Coast Guard

Vice Admiral Dan Abel assumed the duties of the Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations in June 2018. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development of operational strategy, policy, guidance, and resources that address national priorities. This oversight of Coast Guard missions, programs, and services includes: intelligence; international affairs; cyber; the maritime transportation system; commercial regulations and inspections; search and rescue; maritime security; law enforcement; defense operations; environmental response; contingency planning; and the operational capabilities of cutter, boat, aviation, shore, and deployable specialized forces.

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Tony Long, Chief Executive Officer, Global Fishing Watch

Tony Long became the first permanent CEO of Global Fishing Watch in September, 2017. He joined the organization shortly after we were officially incorporated as an independent NGO (in April, 2017). Tony came to Global Fishing Watch from the Pew Charitable Trusts where he directed Pew’s End Illegal Fishing Program and played a key role in the development of the Eyes on the Seas project. He has a strong background in non-profit program development and fundraising and a deep understanding of vessel tracking, IUU and related technologies.

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