When Vessels Report False Locations

Occasionally, the AIS messages transmitted from a ship provide a location that makes no sense, say, in the middle of the Antarctic or over a mountain range. In such cases, either the AIS transponder has malfunctioned, the data got scrambled in transmission, or the system has been tampered with in a deliberate attempt to disguise [...]

By | 2018-01-05T15:55:12+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Data|

Clarifying Identity: Matching Broadcasts to Vessel Registries

The satellite-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) is great for locating vessels, but it’s not fully reliable for identifying them. AIS broadcasts coded messages that include information about a vessel’s identity such as its name, ship […]

By | 2018-01-05T16:03:59+00:00 August 18th, 2016|Data|

AIS and the Challenges of Tracking Vessels at Sea

At Global Fishing Watch, we hear it all the time: “Tracking commercial fishing vessels from satellites is such a great idea, and it seems so easy!” In fact, we’ve received a few questions from our readers asking us why this isn’t just a simple hack of publicly available data. […]

By | 2018-01-05T16:06:05+00:00 August 9th, 2016|Data|

How Much Fish Can A Fisherman Fish? (and how we’re trying to find out)

To help researchers better understand how much fish is being taken from the ocean, we’re developing ways to use our data for estimating the total potential catch of the global fishing fleet. It’s a big and a complex question to answer, partly because the source of our information, AIS, is limited. It doesn’t tell us [...]

By | 2018-01-05T16:09:03+00:00 August 6th, 2016|Data|

What Does Five Billion Look Like?

Every day we download more than 20 million data points, giving us the positions of the about two hundred thousand vessels in the world. To see where these vessels traveled in 2015, I plotted their positions to create the map you see above. This map shows all vessels carrying AIS, and not just fishing vessels, and [...]

By | 2018-01-05T16:12:45+00:00 July 19th, 2016|Data|

Reading Tracks on the Water: A Team Effort for Humans and Machines

When it looks like spaghetti, it may be fishing. That’s one of the first lessons students learn when they’re working with Kristina Boerder, one of our academic partners from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Of course, she’s not teaching them about pasta. She’s teaching them about the movement patterns of ships at sea. The [...]

By | 2018-01-05T16:16:06+00:00 June 8th, 2016|Data|

Palmyra Atoll Workspace Visualization

Intended for the media, but available to everyone. Right click to download original image, or click to access the workspace. Caption: U.S. Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. /Credit Global Fishing Watch Using Global Fishing Watch, researchers were able to identify commercial fishing vessels operating around U.S. Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge from January 1, [...]

By | 2018-04-04T11:34:31+00:00 March 31st, 2016|Data|
Load More Posts