Verumar (NLA International) (IPP funded)


Verumar enhances the Philippine Government’s capability to conserve and sustainably use
their oceans, seas and marine resources while contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water.

This is achieved by integrating and working in concert with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) and other stakeholders to scope and introduce new satellite-enabled capabilities.

These enhance fisheries management and enforcement activities, and directly enable illegal fishing to be countered with improved efficiency. This also enables BFAR’s aim for excellence in sustainable fisheries management, contributing to national food security.

Independent evaluation estimated that the Verumar solution was 39% more cost effective than aerial surveillance and 59% more cost effective than maritime surveillance.

Solution benefits

  • Improved safety, security and economic productivity for Philippine fisherfolk.
  • Improved institutional capacity for monitoring and enforcement.
  • Near-term economic benefits to the Philippine economy from reducing illegal fishing and regularising unreported activities.
  • Long-term improvement in the national interest for extraction of protein source from the sea to feed a growing population.

Key technical features

  • Cost-effective data from space-based sensors offering Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), optical imagery and vessel tracking information from Automatic Information Systems (AIS). 
  • These are fused with other data streams such as Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and data bases, and processed at scale through advanced algorithms and machine learning. 
  • Expert analysis by monitoring, control and surveillance specialists then allows actionable insights of potential IUU fishing activity to be provided to the Philippine government. 

Case studies

The Philippines is a nation of approximately 104 million people for whom locally caught fish provide 60% of their total animal protein intake annually. Increasing the supply of affordable, edible fish is vital for improved nutrition and food security. Yet some estimates indicate that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) is depriving the Philippines of fish stocks valued at $1bn-$2bn annually.

The Verumar Project focused on supporting DA-BFAR in fisheries compliance, and especially the prevention, detection and enforcement of IUU fishing through monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS). It did so through the provision of intelligence about suspected IUU activity, generated from analysis of satellite-based data on fishing vessel activity. This information enabled targeted, direct intervention by enforcement agencies. The project also provided capacity development of BFAR staff in satellite-data analysis through both ongoing support and mentoring throughout the project, as well as through delivery of a bespoke training programme.

Organisation Overview

NLA International champions the implementation of Blue Economy solutions through the utilisation of innovative technologies, tools and processes to create sustainable ocean environments for the people and economies that depend upon them.