The article explains that these boats switch off their location transmitters to avoid detection in order to engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, a practice called IUU.

IUU is estimated to account for around 30 percent of all fishing activity worldwide, representing up to 26 million tons of fish caught annually and costing the global economy more than 23 billion USD a year. This has a negative impact on costal rural populations and contributes to the decline of fish stocks and marine habitat destruction.

The same source goes on to say that “now, the government’s Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in partnership with the Department of National Defence and MDA (Canada’s largest space technology manufacturer which owns RADARSAT-2), has launched a new programme that has already led to significant fines of five foreign vessels.”

The 7 million USD programme uses satellite technology to locate and track vessels, whose location transmitting devices have been switched off, in the Bahamas and Costa Rica.

The Good News Network clarifies that the programme provides state-of-the-art satellite data and analysis from MDA to small island nations and coastal states around the world where IUU fishing has a major impact on local economies and the health of fish stocks.