Tool Available to Detect Illegal Trade in Seafood

Cambridge, United Kingdom (November 15, 2017) — A new tool is available to assist MCS agencies and non-governmental groups as they track and analyze global fisheries trade data.

Called DETECT IT: Fish, the tool is open to anyone with access to the internet and allows users to compare customs export data from one country to the import data claimed for the same commodity in other countries around the world.

Discrepancies between import and export data have long been thought to signal illegal and unreported fishing.  However the difficulty of complying and analyzing data at the global scale has limited both governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations due to limited staff support and a lack of tools designed for analytics.  To solve this problem, the Cambridge, UK-based wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC  teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund headquartered in Gland, Switzerland and Hewlett Packard Enterprise located in Palo Alto, California to produce a web-based tool that enables automated data collection, comparison, and analytical assessment to detect and tackle the illegal trade of fisheries products. 

More than 30% of the fish caught globally are illegally harvested, causing up to $36.4 billion in global losses each year while contributing to overfishing and threatening food security. As DETECT-IT is tested and refined, this technology can be used to crack down on other highly-trafficked natural resources, including timber and wildlife.  For more information:  watch this video about the new technology, read the information sheet released by the World Wild Life Fund, or check out the press release.  Try the tool yourself by visiting DETECT IT: Fish.