May 17, 2022

New Database: Three NGOs Launch Fishing Transparency Website Identifying 15,264 EU Vessels Authorised to Fish Outside the EU

From a Joint Announcement:

Today [July 29, 2015], the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana and WWF heralded a new era of fisheries transparency with the launch of an online database detailing 15,264 EU vessels authorised to fish outside EU waters between 2010 and 2014. The figures have been made public by the NGOs for the first time after an access-to-information request to the European Commission.

María José Cornax, Fisheries Campaign Director of Oceana, has stressed the importance of this disclosure: “Transparency is a key element for eradicating illegal fishing and ensuring sustainable fisheries. This is especially relevant for European vessels that have been authorised to operate in third countries and distant waters. To ensure sustainability on a global scale, EU fishing vessels should adhere to the same social and environmental standards regardless of where or how they fish.”

The data provided by the European Commission is presented in an accessible online search engine where users can search by vessel, flag state, year and type of agreement under the EU’s Fishing Authorisation Regulation (FAR). This is the first time the information has been made public: it was previously unknown how many vessels were authorised to fish outside the EU, what they were called, and where and when they were authorised to fish.


The database includes vessels authorised to fish under official European fisheries partnership agreements, in third country waters, high seas and in Regional Fisheries Mangement Organisations. However, it does not include the so called ‘private agreements’ between vessel owners and coastal states, which allow the owners’ vessels to fish in the state’s waters, as these are not reported to the European Commission by EU member states. Campaigners are calling for member states to increase transparency and accountability for such private agreements when the FAR is updated this fall.

Direct to WhoFishesFar Database

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.