THE Philippines signed an agreement with Canada that will allow Manila to access for free Ottawa’s satellite-based technology to detect dark vessels or ships that turn off their location transmitter often to engage in illegal fishing.

The Canadian Embassy in Manila on Saturday said the two states signed the deal during the 6th Canada-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation meeting in Canada on Oct. 13, 2023

“Canada and the Philippines held bilateral talks in Ottawa this week. (They) signed an agreement to deploy Canada’s Dark Vessel Detection program to enhance Philippine maritime domain awareness,” Colin Townson, Canadian Embassy head of political affairs office, said in a statement.

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman told reporters last month that Canada is prepared to deploy the system once the agreement is signed.The satellite-based system would provide the Philippines with “near-real-time monitoring capability” to help enhance its maritime domain awareness and boost its capability to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as well as protect its marine environments.

Dark vessels are ships that switch off location-transmitting devices to evade monitoring, control and surveillance.

Canada and the Philippines began the negotiations in January, a few months after Ottawa identified the Philippines as a core partner in its Indo-Pacific Strategy.