Recommendation 3: International – Maritime Domain awareness

Direct the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to include IUU fishing threat analysis and monitoring as a component of U.S. and international efforts to increase overall maritime domain awareness.


The National Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Plan promotes favorable conditions for global maritime security and prosperity through the effective understanding of the maritime domain and by improving our ability to appropriately share information, including intelligence, law enforcement information, and all-source data from the public and private sectors. The Plan promotes improved domain awareness through enterprise-level access to data and encourages broad interaction and expanded collaboration among members of the Global Maritime Community of Interest—an informal community of all levels of domestic and international government along with private and commercial maritime stakeholders, bound by the common interest of maintaining the maritime domain for global security and prosperity.

The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Defense (DOD), and others have contributed to the development of enterprise tools—common services, capabilities, and processes—to increase awareness of the maritime domain. These tools can bring tremendous value when applied to the efforts of the United States and its foreign partners in combating IUU fishing. Many in the U.S. government are unaware of these enterprise tools or lack training on how to apply these tools to conduct IUU fishing threat analysis and monitoring. In addition to the challenges faced within the U.S. government, many foreign governments may lack an appropriate (i.e., unclassified, Non-Public Key Infrastructure (non-PKI), etc.) Information Sharing Environment (ISE)—the people, projects, systems, and agencies that enable responsible information sharing for national security—with the necessary access to maritime data, automated analytics, and information sharing capabilities would enhance their ability to combat IUU fishing. The Task Force believes that improving awareness of enterprise tools within the U.S. government and establishing an appropriate information sharing environment between U.S. and foreign partner users would increase the awareness of decision-makers responsible for combating IUU fishing.

This recommendation does not alter existing constitutional or statutory authorities or responsibilities of agency heads to carry out operational activities or to exchange information. It does however, direct the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to ensure tools and capabilities used to increase overall maritime domain awareness support IUU fishing threat analysis and monitoring.

Implementation Steps

Lead Agencies: DOD and DHS
Other Agencies Involved: NOAA and the Department of State

DHS and DOD will assemble a U.S. government interagency team to identify enterprise tools used by the MDA community that could be applied to combating IUU fishing and ensure linkage of those tools to the strategy developed pursuant to Recommendation 8.

  • By May 2015, the Department of State, NOAA, and DOD will co-host a workshop to gain better understanding into relevant surveillance and enforcement technologies currently being piloted to support management in marine protected areas around the globe.
  • By September 2015, the team will:
    • Catalogue existing initiatives.
    • Establish an Enterprise Tools IUU Fishing Implementation Planning Team.
    • Produce a report on findings to inform an implementation plan.
  • By December 2015, the Enterprise Tools IUU Fishing Implementation Planning Team will formulate an implementation plan with timelines to support efforts to enhance IUU fishing threat analysis and monitoring.
  • By December 2015, the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense will provide a report to the NOC Committee on developing an appropriate environment for sharing information between U.S. and foreign government partner users in order to enhance threat analysis and monitoring, which would increase the awareness of decision-makers responsible for combating IUU fishing.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Rush escorts the suspected high seas drift net fishing vessel Da Cheng in the North Pacific Ocean on August 14, 2012. Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard 

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