Canada is developing a space program in a mission to curb the decline in fish stocks and destruction of marine habitat and to help small island nations impacted by illegal fishing, by detecting criminal vessels using satellite technology.
“Through the Dark Vessel Detection (DVD) program, we’re partnering with other ocean nations to better detect and prevent illegal fishing around the world,” says Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “We’re investing in one of the leading, most innovative systems on the planet to ensure our fish stocks are protected, our fisheries remain lucrative, and the law is upheld at sea.”
The $7 million program, which is part of the $11.6 million in funding Canada vowed to invest in ocean health, will help locate fishing vessels that had turned off their location transmitting devices to avoid being monitored, controlled, and surveilled. The Canadian tech company MDA has been mandated to use satellite technology, such as space-based radio frequency collection, to identify vessels engaged in illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The DVD program aims to support the Forum Fisheries Agency which represents 15 South Pacific Island member states, and the Galapagos Islands.