Disclaimer: WhoFishesFAR makes available a list of EU vessels fishing globally i.e. under the EU’s Fishing Authorisation Regulation (FAR). The data was secured from the European Commission as a result of an access to information request for all FAR authorisations from 2008 – 2017. While it is the first time such data has been made available publically, it is incomplete, and may include errors. The information provided by the European Commission does not include data on private or chartering agreements, even though they also require authorisation and were included in the access to information request. In addition, the data provided by the European Commission on authorisations that were withdrawn, denied or requested have not been included in the whofishesfar.org search engine.
For the 2016 – 2017 data the European Commission warned that: "ICCAT and GFCM data are excluded, as these are currently not complete in the FAP database".
Whofishesfar.org includes fishing vessels that fish in non-EU waters for limited time periods or have requested an authorisation to operate in non-EU waters but do not actually use this authorisation. The total number of vessels included in whofishesfar.org is therefore larger than the number of vessels that are considered to belong to the European Long Distance Fleet.
The last public estimate of the European long Distance Fleet was made in 2008 in an external study that identified 718 vessels for the year 2007. This external study (Study on the European External Fleet Contract FISH/2006/02 Final Report, January 2008) looked only at vessels that operated more than 90% of the time outside EU waters.