Abstract: Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing threatens resource sustainability and equity. A major challenge with such activity is that most fishing vessels do not broadcast their positions and are “dark” in public monitoring systems. Combining four satellite technologies, we identify widespread illegal fishing by dark fleets in the waters between the Koreas, Japan, and Russia. We find >900 vessels of Chinese origin in 2017 and >700 in 2018 fished illegally in North Korean waters, catching an estimated amount of Todarodes pacificus approximating that of Japan and South Korea combined (>164,000 metric tons worth >$440 million). We further find ~3000 small-scale North Korean vessels fished, mostly illegally, in Russian waters. These results can inform independent oversight of transboundary fisheries and foreshadow a new era in satellite monitoring of fisheries.
Biography: A/Prof Quentin Hanich leads the Fisheries Governance Research Program at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong, where he is a Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Chair. A/Prof Hanich has worked widely throughout the Asia Pacific region in various international research partnerships focusing on ocean governance and emerging technologies, marine conservation, fisheries management and development. He has chaired international working groups at treaty meetings, facilitated inter-governmental workshops, and advised Ministerial meetings and national delegations. In addition to his roles at the University of Wollongong, A/Prof Hanich is the Editor-in-Chief of the highly ranked Elsevier journal Marine Policy, a Principal Investigator in the Nippon Foundation funded Ocean Nexus Program, a research partner with the Japanese Fisheries Research and Education Agency and Global Fishing Watch, and an Adjunct Scholar at Dalhousie University.