Online fisheries statistics system – – launched in Timor-Leste

14 June 2012 - An online national fisheries statistical system for Timor-Leste was launched today at a ceremony presided over by Mr Marcos da Cruz, Secretary of State for Agriculture and Fisheries.

The system – – provides public access to a wide range of statistical and environmental information relating to fisheries in Timor-Leste.

This is the first time that such a system has been implemented in Timor-Leste and it is expected to be an important tool contributing to enhanced fisheries management and sustainability of marine resources.

The site is operated by the National Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture (NDFA) and was established with the support of the Spanish-funded Regional Fisheries Livelihoods Programme for South and Southeast Asia (RFLP) which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Publicly available information on includes:

  • Boat census data gathered by the Fishery Inspection Department that gives a description of vessels, where they are based and who operates them;
  • Daily information on the price of fish by species and location as well as catch data and the number of boats fishing;
  • Live maps showing fishing grounds, dangerous areas and fishers’ movements collected by using GPS sounders;
  • Data on accidents at sea or in coastal areas gathered from the reporting system established by the NDFA, RFLP and Maritime police. 

A restricted area of the site includes:

  • Live maps and data recording incidents of reported illegal fishing;
  • Complete data sets of information gathered.

The site is also home to public information on other fisheries-related projects and fisheries legislation as well as a portal for data provided from other providers such as weather, tide, wind predictions, cyclone warnings and sea surface temperatures.

Secretary of State  da Cruz said said, “This is a shared data system that is accessible to all. It will enhance transparency and help facilitate public participation in the development of policy. At the same time it will play a vital role in helping fishers and their families by providing authorities with boat descriptions and data when coordinating rescues.”

The system has already been put to practical use. Recent search and rescue operations made use of images and information about individual boats and their owners that had been gathered during recent census activities.

Mr. Lourenco Borges, RFLP National Project Director and Director General of the Ministry said, “ is designed to support a number of activities which have helped fill the fisheries data vacuum that previously existed. We now have data that was never available before and this provides a unique opportunity in Timor Leste with regards to fisheries resource management.”